PUBLICATIONS | 27 Mar 2017

The Media Barometer: First Results 2016

The first results of Nordicom’s annual report The Media Barometer shows that readers of daily newspapers continue to decrease, and the use of digital platforms is increasing. Watching TV online is getting more popular - especially among youths, who also spend more and more time on social media.  

The use of media among the Swedish population during an average day in 2016 does not show any surprising patterns compared to previous years. The readers of daily newspapers continue to decrease, from 65 percent saying that they read a daily newspaper during an average day in 2015, to 62 percent during 2016. At the same time, digital platforms are increasing in popularity. For example, the use of social media during an average day has strongly increased, from 52 percent in 2015 to 62 percent in 2016

More popular use of online TV
A clear trend that is visible from the first results of The Media Barometer is that the use of traditional media on digital platforms has increased, up from 24 percent during 2015 to 46 percent in 2016. This means that almost half the population say they use newspapers, radio, TV, or magazines on a digital platform.

TV watching is a clear example of how user patterns are changing: the total time spent watching TV has declined slightly during the past few years, from 86 percent in 2010 to 81 percent in 2016. At the same time, more people are watching web-based TV; this proportion increased from 22 to 30 percent between 2015 and 2016. The increased online TV watching becomes particularly clear among the younger generation. Among the 15 – 24-year-olds, 55 percent watch TV online, and only 45 percent watch regular TV, during an average day.  

Picture: The Media Day 2016, from the first results of The Media Barometer. 

More time using media 
The Media Barometer shows that the Swedish population spent 6 hours and 20 minutes using different media during an average day in 2016. This is an increase of 7 minutes compared to the previous year. However, there are big differences between the age groups. For example, the average time spent using media among the age group 15 – 24 years is 445 minutes a day, almost 7.5 hours. 

The wireless and smart technology is a condition for today’s media consumption. But many still use media in its traditional forms, comments Ulrika Facht, Research Officer at Nordicom. 


Media time among children and youth
Young people have completely different media habits than the older generation. In particular, social media and video clips make up a larger part of the media use among young people. In the age group 9-14 years, 74 percent used social media during an average day in 2016, and 70 percent watched video clips online. Among the 15 – 24-year-olds, 94 percent used social media, and 69 percent watched video clips. 

Where children and youth access their daily news is also different from the older generations.  Today, the web is the main platform for children and youth to get in contact with news. In the age group 9-14 years, 33 percent are getting their daily news on the internet, and that number is 69 percent in the age group 15-24 years. The Media Barometer also shows that among 15-24-year-olds, 47 percent get their news via Facebook. 


The main report with more results from 2016 will be released in April/May 2017. 

Read and download the first results from The Media Barometer 2016 here (English version). 

Read more about The Media Barometer and reports from previous years here. 

On 8th March 2017, Ingela Wadbring, director of Nordicom, and Karin Hellingwerg and Ulrika Facht, Research Officers at Nordicom, took part in a seminar about media habits in different age groups and over time. During the seminar, the first results of The Media Barometer were presented. Watch the seminar here (in Swedish). 

Picture: Ulrika Facht, Karin Hellingwerf och Ingela Wadbring are taking part of the seminair "Från Papper till Pixlar" about media habits in different age groups and over time. 


About the Media Barometer
The survey was started in 1979 by SR/PUB in cooperation with the Newspaper Research Programme based at Gothenburg University. In 1994 the responsibility of The Media Barometer was taken over by Nordicom. The survey is based on telephone interviews with a random sample of the population aged 9-79 years. During 2016, a total of 6002 interviews were done. The Media Barometer asks people if they were using a specific medium yesterday and they then get to estimate for how long they used it. Based on the result, the media use among the population during an average day is measured. The Media Barometers also consist of follow up questions about possession and availability of different media/media technology.