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53% of Europeans stream TV

A Eurobarometer survey shows that a majority of Europeans, aged 15 to 45, use the Internet at least once a week to read the latest news (72 per cent), listen to music (63 per cent) and watch films or TV series (53 per cent). 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 of access content without having to go through a registration process.

The survey also shows the importance of online services such as video sharing platforms, social media or content aggregators to access contents.

Watching films and TV series

To watch TV series and films online the people interviewed first turn to professional film and TV series streaming websites (free or paid) (25 per cent), then to video sharing websites (22 per cent) and broadcasters’ online TV services (19 per cent). 13 per cent most often use online platforms providing access to a selection of TV channels or video on demand services, 11 per cent social media and 5 per cent digital stores. The survey shows that 15 to 24 year olds are more likely to use the Internet to watch TV series and films than the 25-35 year olds (67 per cent vs. 42 per cent).

In 10 countries professional streaming services are used the most. Finland (44 per cent), Denmark (41 per cent), Luxembourg (39 per cent) and Sweden (38 per cent) top the league. In 17 countries video-sharing websites are the most popular with Bulgaria (45 per cent), Hungary (42 per cent), Greece, Cyprus and Czech Republic (all 40 per cent) in the lead.

Using broadcasters online TV services is the most common in the UK (30 per cent), Finland (24 per cent) and Estonia (23 per cent). 64 per cent of respondents consider that accessing a service for free is the most important criteria for using it. 52 per cent mentioned offering good quality audio/video, 43 per cent that offering a good catalogue and 42 per cent that streaming is not interrupted by adverts as other important criteria.

Listening to music

Video or music-sharing websites are the most popular way for people to listen to music online, with 31 per cent of all respondents using them the most. Second most popular – 22 per cent – are professional music streaming services, either free or paid; 16 per cent online radio stations and 14 per cent social media. 15 to 24 year olds listen to music online more often than the 25 to 45 age year olds (78 per cent vs 50 per cent).

Video or music sharing websites are most used in Cyprus (57 per cent) and Hungary (50 per cent), whereas professional streaming services are most popular in Sweden (46 per cent), Finland (43 per cent) and Denmark (37 per cent). A majority of those interviewed – 71 per cent – chose free services. 53 per cent mentioned good quality of audio or video and 40 per cent said not having to register was an important criterion for choosing a service.

Reading news

The websites or apps of newspapers or magazines may be the single most popular way in which people access news in digital format – 42 per cent of all respondents turn to them first when looking for news, but the majority of people looking for news – 57 per cent – now turn to other services: 22 per cent mainly access their news via social media, 21 per cent through search engines and 14 per cent via news aggregation services, which provide extracts and links to articles from a variety of newspaper websites. Among these 57 per cent, there is a fairly even split between those who most often browse and read the main news without clicking on links to access the whole article and those who say they click on available links to read the whole article on its original webpage (47 per cent and 45 per cent respectively). The most important criterion when choosing a service is that it is free (77 per cent). Other important criteria are access without registration (54 per cent) and not being disturbed by adverts when reading the article (40 per cent). Three quarters of the 35 to 45 year olds read news online at least once a week, compared to 67 per cent of the 15 to 24 year olds.

Accessing articles on newspaper or magazine websites or apps was most common in Finland and Luxembourg (both 68 per cent) and Estonia (67 per cent). In Latvia (53 per cent), Bulgaria and Slovakia (both 40 per cent) readers most often used online social media.

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