During the pandemic, Swedes’ daily media usage time increased from six to seven hours per day. As for children and youth, their social media usage increased significantly. Three new Swedish reports reveal changes in media usage during 2020.
In new reports, published from June to September, three Swedish government agencies provide insights about media usage trends from different angles.
The Swedish Media Council analyses children and young people's media use, while the Swedish Press and Broadcasting Authority and the Swedish Agency for Cultural Policy Analysis, respectively, highlight media and news habits and cultural habits throughout the Swedish population. The results are based on a number of recurring national surveys.
Children and the Media 2021
In the report Ungar och medier [Children and the media], the Swedish Media Council highlights media use and attitudes towards the media among children and adolescents, 9–18 years. A significant increase in mobile and social media among youth is one result, but many are self-critical about how much time they devote to these activities. As for news about the pandemic, the young trusted traditional news media such as SVT, TV4 and SR the most. Fewer trusted news and information from social media and influencers, despite being avid users of the services.
Children and the Media is Sweden's largest survey of children and young people's media habits and has been conducted every two years since 2005. The current survey includes questions concerning the pandemic, for example, more detailed questions about news consumption, whether children followed advice from influencers, and online exposure.
- Read Ungar och medier 2021 (in Swedish)
- Press release 23 September 2021: Unga vände sig till traditionella medier under pandemin [Young turned to traditional media during the pandemic]
Media Consumption 2021
During the pandemic, the need for news and entertainment increased, contributing to the average daily media time increasing by one hour in 2020 compared with 2019. More Swedes consumed news, especially via TV and online newspapers, and the number of subscriptions to streaming services increased. These are some trends reported in the annual media consumption report from the Swedish Press and Broadcasting Authority. Data come from Nordicom's annual Media Barometer survey, MMS’s TV viewing measurements and Kantar Sifo's radio listening measurements.
- Read Medieutveckling 2021 – Mediekonsumtion (in Swedish)
- Press release 7 September 2021: Pandemin förändrade vår mediedag [The pandemic changed our media day]
Cultural Habits in Sweden 2020
In 2020, the pandemic affected the otherwise rather stable cultural habits among the Swedish population, writes the Swedish Agency for Cultural Policy Analysis in its annual report on cultural habits. Not unexpectedly, activities such as visits to the cinema or concerts decreased.
As for activities people perform themselves, the share of population playing computer, mobile and video games increased considerably. At the same time, the share of population watching films, reading books, listening to audio books or listening to music remained the same in 2020 as in 2019.
The most common cultural activities were listening to music (which 97% did during 2020), watching films (92%) and reading books (81%). The report is based on data from the SOM Institute's annual surveys, covering 16–85-year-olds.
- Read Kulturvanor i Sverige 2020 (in Swedish)
- Press release 30 June 2021: Pandemin har påverkat våra kulturaktiviteter [The pandemic has affected our cultural activities]
The agencies and their assignments
The three agencies are assigned by the Swedish government to follow developments in the media and cultural field in various ways.
Find data in English
As the reports above are mainly presented in Swedish, below are links to some of the statistical sources for which basic data are available in English: