Even though media usage habits have changed slightly in the last few years, according to the European Commission, television is still the most used medium in Europe, with 82 percent of individuals interviewed watching TV as of 2016. While the consumption of traditional media such as radio and written press have decreased, social networks and the internet are becoming increasingly important in the digital age. In 2016, more than 60 percent of respondents in Europe claimed to use the internet every day. For comparison: five years earlier the share was not even half.
As of 2016, 80 percent of Europeans watched TV on a television set every day or almost every day. The country with the most individuals viewing TV on a TV set was Portugal, with a share of 94 percent, followed by Bulgaria and Belgium (92 percent each). Traditional television was not as popular in Luxembourg and Sweden, where roughly two thirds of respondents used TV sets (almost) every day. However, the share of the Swedes watching online television rose highly, especially among younger age groups – in 2011, 32 percent of 15 to 24 year olds watched internet TV daily, while the share was already 55 percent in 2016.
After television and the internet, radio is considered to be the third most important medium in the European countries. Based on the survey mentioned above, the usage of radio remained stable in the past years, reaching 61 percent of individuals in 2016. In addition, radio had the highest level of trust – the share of Europeans who tended to trust this medium was 59 percent that year. In comparison, only 21 percent had confidence in social networks. Radio was most popular in Germany and Ireland, with 65 percent of daily users in each country. Slovenia (62 percent) and Austria (60 percent) came in second and third place respectively.
Compared to other media the written press has the lowest reach. In the Netherlands, for instance, less than half of individuals were reached by newspapers in 2015 – down from a share of 66.6 percent in 2010. A similar development can be seen in Norway; Whereas Norwegians spent almost 30 minutes per day reading newspapers in 2005, ten years later the daily time spent amounted to an average of 16 minutes. In this respect, older age groups in particular tend to use printed media. In 2015, individuals aged 67 to 79 years spent 44 minutes on reading newspapers. 25 to 44 year-olds read newspapers for just 9 minutes per day.
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