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Digitalization in the media industry in Sweden - Statistics & Facts

Digitalization is one of the most far-reaching transformation processes in the recent past. The transfer of formerly analog information and services into digital systems, accompanied by the rapid development of telecommunication technologies, lead to profound changes especially in the media industry. In 2018, the internet user penetration rate in Sweden amounted to 87.8 percent. That means roughly 8.76 million people in the country used the internet, and the number was forecast to increase in the next years.

The music market is one of the media industries that has been affected the most by digitalization. The revenue of the recorded digital music industry in Sweden increased in the ten-year period from 2008 to 2018, from approximately 70.8 million Swedish kronor to over 1.3 billion Swedish kronor. Only about 120 million kronor were generated through CDs and vinyl in 2018, while the sales revenue of music streaming services peaked at 1.3 billion Swedish kronor. Streaming or downloading music is especially popular with younger people. According to a survey from 2018, more than three quarters of respondents aged 15 to 25 years listened to music provided digitally.

Similarly, the value of the Swedish digital video market recorded a growing trend, while physical video expenditure declined in the past years. In 2018, people spent nearly five billion Swedish kronor on streaming and downloading videos. By contrast, the physical video consumer spending amounted to roughly 500 million Swedish kronor. The number of unique subscribers to online over-the-top services (OTT) correspondingly grew in the recent past, reaching over 2.7 million in 2018. In 2011, there were about 15 thousand subscriptions.

Digitalization seems to be most important for the printed newspaper industry, due to competitors like Facebook or Twitter. Roughly half of the Swedish population read newspapers daily in 2018. The paid circulation of this medium decreased significantly, from over 3.4 million copies in 2007 to about 1.4 million ten years later. It is encouraging that digital daily newspaper ads generated increased revenue in the past, while advertising spending on printed daily newspapers declined by over 50 percent from 2011 to 2018.

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