NEWS | 29 May 2020

The digital newspaper dominates and most people watch TV/Online videos – here are the 13 most important results from the Swedish Media Barometer 2019

In 2019, the Swedish population’s daily media usage time was more than six hours. Eight out of ten used social media networking services and two out of three read the daily newspaper on an average day. These are some of the results from the Swedish Media Barometer 2019.

The Swedish Media Barometer 2019, published 29 May 2020, illustrates media use in the Swedish population aged 9–79 years old on an average day in 2019. The results of the survey are summarised here. The full report is available for free download through the link below.

Read the full report here (in Swedish):
The Media Barometer 2019

 

Nine out of ten watched TV/Online videos – eight out of ten used social media networking services

Of all the different media types, the moving image was most shared in 2019. On an average day, no less than 90 per cent of the population looked at TV/Online video in some form. This includes traditional and streamed television, web-TV and video clips as well as DVD or Blu-ray movies. A little less, 79 per cent, used social networking services. The social networking services had a higher daily reach than radio and the daily newspaper, which, when included in online use, had a reach of 73 and 64 per cent, respectively.

Total time spent with media was just over six hours per day

Media of various kinds fill a large part of people's waking day. In 2019, the total daily media usage time was 367 minutes, or just over six hours. It also includes the simultaneous use of media, that is, media can very well be used in parallel (e.g., someone listening to music while reading a book). The largest proportion of usage time was given to audio media, such as radio and recorded music, with 37 per cent. This was followed by the moving image with 31 per cent, text media with 17 per cent and social networking services with 14 per cent.

Listening to radio in the car is still the most common way to listen to radio

In 2019, 50 per cent of the population listened to radio in the car an average day. Car radio was thus the most common way to listen to radio. About one-third, or 35 per cent, listened to radio on a traditional radio. In terms of the population as a whole, listening via the Internet was significantly less widespread: 19 per cent listened to podcasting and 16 per cent listened to live web radio.

Six out of ten watched traditional television and five out of ten watched streamed television

Traditional television was still the most popular way to watch television in the population as a whole. But streamed television, or video-on-demand, was not far behind. The daily reach for traditional television was 58 per cent, and for streamed television 47 per cent. At the same time, the video-sharing platform YouTube had a daily reach of 41 per cent. In all cases, the differences in daily reach between different age groups were large.

Media day: Daily reach, 9–79 years, 2019 (percent).

Two out of three read the daily newspaper on an average day – digital reading dominated

64 per cent of the population read a daily newspaper on an average day in 2019. 48 per cent read the newspaper digitally and 31 per cent on paper. Most readers – 51 per cent – had the morning newspaper. Here, the range was evenly distributed between digital and paper newspapers. For evening newspapers, the daily reach was 39 per cent. Here, readers of digital newspapers were in a clear majority.

One third of the population read a magazine or periodical – reading on paper dominated

On an average day in 2019, 33 per cent of the population read a magazine or periodical. 25 per cent read on paper and 13 per cent read digitally. When increasing the time interval for reading to a weekly basis, the reach of the magazine or periodical increased to 57 per cent. The largest proportion of readers, an average of 20 per cent, read weekly and monthly magazines.

The printed book remains the most popular

In 2019, the average daily readership of printed books was 43 per cent. Fiction was the most commonly read genre, followed by educational and specialist books. 34 per cent of the population read a printed book, 10 per cent listened to an audiobook and only 5 per cent read an e-book. However, the average usage time was longest for audiobooks.

Facebook was the most widely used social networking service – but not among younger users

The daily reach for Facebook was 61 per cent in 2019 in the population as a whole. That made Facebook the most widely used social networking service. But in the youngest age groups (9–24 years) the patterns looked different. Instead, Instagram and Snapchat dominated.

SVT was the most used news service in 2019

46 per cent received news from SVT, the Swedish national public television broadcaster, on an average day in 2019. SVT was thus the most widely used news communicator in the population as a whole. 39 per cent received news from Swedish Radio (SR) and 35 per cent from TV4. For the news coverage from SVT – and SR and TV4 – the reach was significantly higher in the older part of the population than in the younger.

Three out of ten consumed news via Facebook

28 per cent of the population consumed news via Facebook. That made Facebook the most used social networking service for news. In this case, the variation between different age groups was considerable. For 9–14-year-olds, YouTube was the most used source for news among social networking services. Among 15–24-year-olds, Instagram had a similar position.

Access to smartphone almost total – except among the oldest

In 2019, 94 per cent of the population had access to a smartphone. With that, the smartphone was the most widely used media technology in Sweden, before both television and laptops. However, the dominance of the smartphone did not apply to the oldest age group, 65–79 years. In this age group, it was still a quarter that did not have a smartphone, while almost all had a television. 69 per cent of the population also had access to a tablet and 55 per cent to a media player (e.g., Apple TV or Chromecast).

Almost half of the population had a subscribed daily newspaper

In 2019, 46 per cent of the population had access to a subscribed daily newspaper in their household. 44 per cent had access to a subscribed morning newspaper. The percentages for paper and digital subscriptions were equally high. 6 per cent of the population had access to a digital subscription plus service from an evening newspaper.

Streaming services for television and music equally widespread

In 2019, two-thirds of the population, or 63 per cent, had access to a subscribed streaming service for television (e.g., Netflix). An equal share had access to a subscribed streaming service for music or podcasts (e.g., Spotify). In both cases, access was highest in the age group 15–24 years and lowest in the age group 65–79 years. 51 per cent of the population had access to a television channel package. The differences between the age groups were less noticeable.

ABOUT THE MEDIA BAROMETER
The Media Barometer has been conducted every year since 1979, making it the oldest research of its kind in the world. In the survey, a random selection of the Swedish population between the ages of 9 and 79 answer questions about their media use. Starting in 2019, the answers are collected through both an online survey and telephone interviews.

The Media Barometer is conducted by Nordicom at the University of Gothenburg together with Dagens Nyheter, Göteborgs-Posten, the Swedish Press and Broadcasting Authority, the Swedish Radio, the Swedish Television and the Swedish Educational Broadcasting Company.