Estonia: third largest daily goes all-digital

First the business newspaper Äripäev discontinued its print version at the end of 2022, and now Eesti Päevaleht, Estonia’s number three daily paper, is following suit. From April onwards only its Friday edition with longer interviews and reports will be available in a print edition. The newspaper belongs to market leader Delfi Meedia, which in 2023 broke the barrier of 100,000 paying digital subscribers — representing almost ten percent of the adult population.

Eesti Päevaleht (EE) /

Journanlism has to follow the readers

Eesti Päevaleht’s editor-in-chief Urmo Soonvald explains the move as follows:

“We had the strongest journalistic insurance policy to be able to make and implement this decision: over 102,000 digital subscribers have access to Eesti Päevaleht’s content. This number makes Delfi Meedia probably the world’s most successful publisher in terms of digital subscribers in the population, and it’s also the key to the future. Eesti Päevaleht’s print circulation at the end of 2023 was 7,985 copies. When you compare the figures, there can be no dithering and no question about which way to go, where to invest. ... In the web. This is where the readers, the dynamism, the attention and the journalistic innovation are.”

Urmo Soonvald
Postimees (EE) /

Outclassed by the competition

Postimees, Eesti Päevaleht’s main competitor, comments:

“The discontinuation of Eesti Päevaleht’s print edition highlights an almost inevitable trend towards the dominance of online journalism. Nevertheless, the [print] newspaper cannot be entirely abandoned. Postimees will continue to publish on paper. ... As long as its readers want it to. How unavoidable was the decision to discontinue Eesti Päevaleht’s print edition? Over time the paper simply lost readers to Postimees, becoming a Tallinn-centred daily with a small circulation.”

Õhtuleht (EE) /

Too early to announce the death of print

Õhtuleht compares the development of the press to that of music, from the gramophone to records to streams:

“Print publications have lasted a long time: centuries. Now it’s time for them to change too. The question is how quickly the change will take place. ... Whatever the answer, it’s unlikely that paper publications will disappear completely because both paper and online publications have their advantages. It’s too early to talk of the final extinction of the newspaper. We’re more likely to see a starker differentiation between different readerships.”