New Chair Øyvind Lund: We are competing with the best in the world

Media Director at NRK, Øyvind Lund, took up his position as Nordvision’s new Chair on 1 January 2019. In this interview, he gives his views on competition, technological trends, public service media and the direction for the Nordvision partnership in the coming years.

At the latest meeting of Nordic media directors in Stockholm on 30 November 2018, Øyvind Lund was appointed new Chair to succeed Marit af Bjørkesten, Director of Swedish Yle, who held the position from 2016 to 2018.


Content, publishing and technology

Returning from a period as Acting Director of Technology, Øyvind Lund sees an even clearer need for closer, stronger cooperation on content production, publishing and technology.

He explains:

“Content production and publishing are becoming ever more clo­sely linked to technology. Many new content projects require integra­tion of content and technology from the start, so we need to identify different ways of working. For a media provider, this is inspiring but also demanding. I also believe it’s important for us as public service media to focus on resources and pay special attention to our core business. This will put us in a stronger position when competing with major international players. And, in this context, I believe Nordvision has greater potential to cooperate on technology than we do at the moment.”


We compare ourselves with the world’s best

In Øyvind Lund’s opinion, public service providers will always have to cope with being the focus of debate. NRK also has a great responsibi­lity to ensure that it constantly adapts to public trends and makes the necessary adjustments within the company. Øyvind Lund explains that public service broadcasters in the Nordic region are faced with great challenges, but they also have great strengths.

“In these times of fake news and growing scepticism about what is true or false in the press, I believe that public service providers can play an important role by creating a common arena for strong credi­bility and trust. We’ll have to approach this task wisely, and it will also require clever handling on the part of the politicians, who – while set­ting our parameters – must always remember to promote our editorial independence,” says Øyvind Lund.

Besides, public service broadca­sters must continue to be relevant and remain the majority choice. Øyvind Lund explains: “The battle to win over people’s time and attention has never been tougher. Therefore, the stories we tell must stand out from the world’s best. This places increasing demands on quality in the content we produce.”


Nordic cooperation that really works

Speaking as a member of Nordvision’s decision-making body for the past four years, Øyvind Lund gives his impression of the cooperation:

“In my opinion, the Nordvision partnership is the best example of tr­uly successful Nordic cooperation. We help each other to strengthen Nordic culture across our borders by collaborating on productions, developing content and sharing strategic knowhow. At a time when global players continue to tighten their grip on consumers, we are able to deliver relevant and attractive content, created in a Nordic context. This is important for the Nordic languages and culture. And we now have so many good examples of well-told stories thriving happily in all of the Nordic countries.”

According to Øyvind Lund, we are heading for times of even tougher competition from international players. At the same time, consumers’ media habits will continue to change in step with techno­logical developments.

This may transform the Nordvision partnership:

“Perhaps we’ve reached the point where we need to increase our focus on the series we produce together, and con­sider how many programmes we should exchange, to gua­rantee even stronger efforts on content in future. And for these efforts, we need solid funding and proper rights to suit the Nordic market. I would like to see more so-called ‘double bull’s-eyes’ in a Nordic context in the coming years. By this, I mean many different genres with lots of programmes and series that are successful on flow TV as well as on streaming services in several Nordic countries,” says Øyvind Lund.