In the past twenty years, the Internet has become part of many Swedes’ everyday life. And still, the Internet continues to spread to more and more Swedes, in both access and use. More people are also connecting more frequently during the day, and the time spent online is growing. Behind this trend is the increased use of smartphones and tablets, according to the report Swedes and the Internet 2014 by .SE, the Internet Infrastructure Foundation.
Most striking in this year’s survey is the rapid spread of tablets. Over half the population has access to a tablet, which is a record increase from five per cent over the past three years. Some 45 per cent of the population uses a tablet, and 25 per cent do so daily. Driving this trend are families with children; eight out of ten parents of children under ten have access to a tablet.
The access to and use of smart phones are also increasing. Today, 73 per cent of the Swedish population has a smart phone, which has become an increasingly common way to connect to the Internet. Among the young (12-35 years), over a third of total Internet time is spent on the smart phone. Among the elderly, however, interest in smartphones has been low; this group uses the mobile phone mainly as a telephone rather than an Internet connection.
More pay for content, fewer share files
More and more people are paying for online content. Of Internet users, 14 per cent subscribe to see video, film and TV online. Among 12-35-year-olds, this share is around 25 per cent. When it comes to music online, even more people are willing to pay. This area has seen rapid growth, from 15 per cent of Internet users in 2011 to 38 per cent in 2014. At the same time, the study shows a reduction in file sharing, especially among those under 35.
Internet an important source of information
The Internet’s position as a source of information has increased. For those aged 45and younger the Internet holds the dominant position as a source of information, but plays only a modest role for pensioners. For this group, traditional media – TV, radio and newspapers – are the most important. In between, in the ages 46 to 65, all media, including the Internet, are equally important.
A million non-users
Despite this increased use of the Internet, there are still about a million Swedes who do not use it. The most common reason given by non-users is lack of interest. Other reasons are that there is no Internet connection where they live, or that they do not have the time or money. Disabilities can also be a problem; five per cent of the population says they have disabilities that hinder their use of the Internet.
About the survey: Swedes and the Internet is an individual survey about Internet use. The report is published annually by .SE (the Internet Infrastructure Foundation), and the survey has been conducted since the year 2000. This year’s survey ran from February to April. Swedes and the Internet is the Swedish contribution to the World Internet Project, an international research project that maps the Internet’s diffusion and use around the world.
BY: EVA HARRIE