Albania, a formerly closed, centrally-planned state, is a developing country with a modern open-market economy, which is classified as a "upper middle-income” by the World Bank, with a nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 18.4 billion euro and GDP per capita of 6 490 euro as for 2022. GDP composition is as follows: services: 54%; agriculture, forestry and fisheries: 21.7%; industry: 24.2%. 

Since the fall of Communism in 1991, the Albanian economy has largely depended on remittances from a growing diaspora that migrated toward wealthier neighboring countries such as Italy and Greece and increased revenues from the hospitality and tourism sector. Revenues from foreign visitors in 2022, were an estimated 2.8 billion euros. 

The Albanian economy is mainly based on agriculture, food processing, lumber, oil, cement, chemicals, mining, basic metals, hydro power, tourism, textile industry, and petroleum extraction. The strongest sectors are energy, mining, metallurgy, agriculture, and tourism. Primary industrial exports are clothing and chrome.

Massive emigration rates have brought remittances but also caused a 'demographic problem' for the country. Fertility rates are declining and the country’s economic potential is at risk from continued migration and an aging population.

Following a deadly earthquake in 2019, which killed 51 people and left thousands homeless and the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the economy rebounded strongly in 2021, with growth registered a pre-pandemic levels, which was based on the resurge of travel and tourism, the construction sector and extractive industries. 

According to the World Bank economic growth in 2021-2022 was driven by private and public spending, investment and consumption. However, public debt and inflation remain high, also affected by Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. 

Despite increasing food and energy crises, the Albanian economy has outperformed expectations in 2022, growing by 4.8 percent according to the International Monetary Fund, on the back of strong consumer demand, tourism inflows and construction activity. The IMF notes that in 2023 growth is expected to be moderate, at 3 percent of GDP. 

According to the Albanian Institute of Statistics (INSTAT) In 2021, 1.25 million people were employed in Albania, 0.56 million women and 0.69 million men, of which only about 60% are employed in the formal sector, 40 % are self-employed and 20 % are family workers. From the paid employees, about one third is employed in the public sector and the rest in the private sector. 

The annual employment rate grew 3.9 percent in the first three quarters of 2022, when the unemployment rate fell to a record 10.6 %. Inflation was estimated at 4.2 % in July 2023.

The media sector in Albania accounted in 2021 for 1.2 % of GDP, equaling revenues of roughly 125 million EUR per year, of which 72 million EUR are collected by pay per view television and the revenues of public television, while 53 million EUR goes to free on air television stations. 

The main funding for journalism comes from subscriptions for pay per view television services and advertising. However, a good part of the advertising in some media outlets comes from other companies of the media owner, which often operate in markets that are heavily regulated by the government, including construction, banking, for-profit higher education, public private partnership projects, etc. Some fundings also is allocated for non-profit media development projects from an array of foreign donors, including the European Union, USAID, The Swedish International Development Agency and other bilateral donors and foundations.  

The funding of the public service media in Albania is done mainly through a tariff collected through electricity bills, which amounts to nearly 12 euros per year, allocations from the state budget and revenues from advertising and the hosting of local commercial stations and its digital terrestrial frequencies. In 2022, allocations from the state budget for the public and radio television stations amounted to 5.3 million euros, or 25.5% of its total budget of 20.7 million euros. 

In Albania there are no state subsidies distributed directly or indirectly to the media. Some state advertising is distributed mainly through government agencies and public companies. State advertisements are not distributed fairly among the media. There is no mechanism to guarantee that state advertisements are based on audience share. The state advertising procurement rules are rather simplistic and leave plenty of room for abuse, especially since the procedure allows for advertising contracts to be awarded to advertising agencies, which can then outsource the contract without being obliged to respect any specific criteria. 

In Albania there is no available public data on market share in the advertising sector. The last study published in 2020 by the Albania Media Institute (AMI) pointed out that the market is not transparent and there is a direct correlation between advertising and media content. According to data published monthly by the Audiovisual Media Authority (AMA) in 2022 the biggest buyers of advertising in national broadcasters were telecommunication companies like Vodafone and One, the Balfin Group - a big retail, banking and real estate development conglomerate, banks, supermarkets, insurance companies and retailers who sell directly through television infomercials, like Comodita Home and Top Shop. 

In the last decade the market has evolved due to technological advances in broadcast technology. Digital pay per view platforms, like Digitalb and Tring TV that once dominated the market in revenue, have registered a decline, due to digital switch off of analog broadcasts and competition from  Internet Protocol television (IPTV), over-the-top media / streaming (OTT)  and Video on Demand (VOD) platforms like Tibo, Netflix and others. 

  • Project by
    Global Media Registry
    Funded by European Union