Young people’s media habits

At the end of 2017, PRV and the Swedish Media Council conducted a Sifo survey into the media habits of young people, aimed at target group of those aged 12-16. We wanted to find out more about how young people view streaming and illegal downloading, and how common it is.

The survey in numbers

  • 28% of those aged 15-16 are aware of three or more illegal sites.
  • 13% of those aged 12-14 are aware of three or more illegal sites.
  • 44% of respondents reply that they never use illegal sites.
  • 39% reply that they have used an illegal site at least once a year.
  • 50% of respondents believe that more information about why it is wrong to use illegal sites would make more people stop using them.

Few people find out what is permitted

Most of respondents find out for themselves whether or not online content is permitted. A large proportion of respondents reply that they use sites without checking whether they are OK or reply that they do not know. One young person in five asks a parent if they are unsure, and this is more common among younger ones than older ones.

Older young people use illegal sites more often than younger ones

There is an even distribution between those who sometimes use illegal sites and those who never do. 17% of respondents do not know whether or not the sites they use are illegal.

More older young people than younger ones use illegal sites. 51% of those aged 15-16 reply that they use illegal sites at least once a year, compared with 31% of those aged 12-14. There are no direct differences in behaviour depending on where in the country they live.

Unique material is the primary reason for using illegal sites

The primary reason why young people who sometimes use illegal sites do so is the selection available. They simply find what they want there.

The second most common reason is that other sites cost money; this is the view of just over 30% of young people aged 12-14 and just over 40% of those aged 15-16.

There is also a big difference in terms of where the young people live. 27% of young people in cities reply that one reason why they use illegal sites is that other sites cost money, compared with 40% of those living in other parts of the country.

Wrong that copyright holders do not get paid

By far most people reply that they think it is wrong that people who have worked on films and TV series do not get paid from illegal sites.

Of those who sometimes use illegal sites, a significantly higher proportion reply that they do not care about this (16%) than those who reply that they never use illegal sites (5%).

More information

Half of respondents believe that more information about why it is wrong to use illegal sites would make more people stop using them.

One in five wants the police to be given more money to solve these crimes. There is a difference here in where in the country the young people live. 24% of those living in cities give this answer, compared with 19% in the rest of the country.

Images online

Girls post their own images and videos online more often than boys, and they also want to have more control over how the images are used by others. Many are unaware of whether or not others are using their images, and a clear majority want to be able to decide for themselves how their photos and videos are used.  

The interview-based survey was conducted together with Sifo and involved around 1,000 respondents. The respondents were aged 12-16, through the permission of a guardian.

Edited 2021-05-26