NEWS | 21 Sep 2016

EU study: How do people access media content online?

A new Eurobarometer survey shows how 15- to 45-year-olds use the Internet to access media content. Finland, Denmark and Sweden top the league in using professional streaming services to access music, films and TV series online. Finland and Sweden also rank high in reading digital news via newspaper websites or apps.

This EU study shows that seven in ten Internet users aged 15 to 45 use the Internet at least once a week to read news, six in ten listen to music, and more than half watch films or TV series.

Nearly eight in ten use free services to access content, but other criteria are also important, such as good audio or video quality or the possibility to access content without having to go through a registration process.

Reading news online
Four in ten prefer to access news in digital format via the websites or apps of newspapers or magazines, which makes it the single most popular way to access news online.

However, the majority of people looking for news – almost six in ten – now turn to other services: roughly 20 per cent access their news mainly via social media and through search engines, respectively, and 14 per cent do so via news aggregation services.

The survey shows that accessing articles on newspaper or magazine websites or apps is the most common in Finland, Luxembourg, Estonia and Sweden (approximately two-thirds of the respondents who access news in digital/electronic format).

Watching films and TV series
To watch TV series and films online, the people interviewed first turn to free or paid professional film and TV series streaming websites (25 per cent), then to video sharing websites and broadcasters’ online TV services (around 20 per cent, respectively). The 15-to 24-year-olds are more likely to use the Internet to watch TV series and films than are older age groups.

In ten countries professional streaming services are used the most, with Finland, Denmark, Luxembourg and Sweden at the top (38-44 per cent). Using broadcasters’ online TV services as a main choice for watching film/TV online is the most common in the UK (30 per cent), followed by Finland (24 per cent).

Listening to music
Video or music-sharing websites are the most popular way for people to listen to music online, with nearly a third of all respondents using them the most.

Second most popular are professional music streaming services, either free or paid (22 per cent); online radio stations (16 per cent) and social media (14 per cent). The 15- to 24-year-olds listen to music online more often than the 25- to 45-year-olds do.

Professional music streaming services are the most popular in Sweden, Finland and Denmark (46, 43 and 37 per cent).

Read more and download:
Press release, European Commisson 14/09/2016
Flash Eurobarometer 437: Internet users’ preferences for accessing content online (link to the Eurobarometer web page)
Nordic Internet users’ most preferred platforms/services for accessing news, film and TV series and music online 2016 (Excel file from Nordicom’s table database)


About the survey: This study was carried out between 10 and 21 March 2016 by the TNS Political & Social Network in 28 EU member states. The figures are based on some 13,500 Internet users aged 15 to 45 years. They were interviewed online after having agreed to participate in the survey by telephone. As the survey is carried out in the EU only, Iceland and Norway are not included.