Lives and media habits of 13-29 year olds

A big survey has been made in the Nordic countries to find out about and trying to understand the age group that is among the trickiest to target with Public Service content.

Martin Gunséus, Publikanalytiker vid SVT

During 2015 Nordvision funded the third part of what can now be viewed as a series of Nordic-wide surveys looking closer at the habits and media usage among the youth, in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. This time the scope has been to get a deeper understanding of the 13-29 year olds.

The changing habits of this demographic follows the same pattern across the Nordic countries, where official TV-measurements show a rather large drop in viewing time over the last years. This development is not only enhanced by their great access to new devices, there is also considerable competition about their attention both locally and globally.

The research started out with a qualitative pre study in Denmark, where mobile ethnography among fifteen 13-29 year olds were used to get a better understanding of the details and characteristics of their habits. On this basis the survey was conducted with 1,000 respondents per country.


A few of the most interesting findings 

  • When asked which media they would miss the most the most common answer is Youtube (22%), followed by Facebook (21%), Spotify (13%) and Netflix (8%). 7 % answers that Public Service content is that which they would miss the most. This accentuates that the competition is fierce and very much global when it comes to this target group.
  • Looking closer at Youtube we find that the relationship to this platform is extremely fragmented and consists largely of niche content and specific clips. A few patterns can be find though: the most popular content is that which is considered funny; and those between 13-19 y.o. has a larger focus on youtubers (e.g. PewDiePie, Armin) while as those between 20-29 y.o. tend to lean toward content from personalities with primary channels in traditional media (e.g. Jimmy Fallon, Ellen DeGeneres) (The in-depth analysis of youtube preferences have so far only been done on Danish results, but from a first look we expect similarities with the other countries).
  • Facebook is still the most common social media platform in terms of reach. But in terms of engagement and actually contributing with their own content we see that the likes of Instagram, Snapchat and WhatsApp have a much more involving relationship with the youth.
  • When asked in what way public services can be better at serving their needs the 13-29 y.o. answer that they would like more fiction series targeted for the youth, that they would like all of our content to be available forever and in better quality and that they believe that we can be better and more active in social media. This quote sums it all up:

    “I miss content precisely for me, not edgy youth programming, but fiction series for young people, and make all episodes available now and forever.”
    – Girl, 20-29


The survey contains a lot more results and open ended answers that should be interesting to look into for anyone seeking to understand this age group. For those working at DR, Yle, NRK or SVT, please, get in touch with the contact at your research department, listed below, for more information.


Contact information

DR: Tina Skov Gretlund ( / Lene Heiselberg (

Yle: Anne Hyvärilä (

NRK: Iacob Christian Prebensen (

SVT: Martin Gunséus (