Study reveals “typical” Swedish file sharer

The shock results from a new study have revealed that the typical file sharer in Sweden is - wait for it - a young man.

Seven out of ten Swedish file sharers are men and three out of four of the most active are aged between 18 and 25. That is the conclusion of report which forms part of an EU-funded research project. Analysts from Stockholm’s Kungliga tekniska högskolan (KTH) and Uppsala University participated.

Every tenth internet user in Sweden has, according to the report, used file sharing methods to acquire music. Among young internet users the figure rises to 50%, while around 2% of Swedes are classed as “heavy” file sharers. Most of these are men.

Nevertheless, the proportion of file sharers compared to internet users as a whole is lower in Sweden than in many other countries including the USA, Canada and France.

One explanation, according to the researchers, is that internet penetration is so widespread here that it is not just the more technically-inclined part of society – young men – who are internet users.

The link between file sharing and CD sales is complex and hard to analyse, claim the researchers. A number of the file sharers who were interviewed admitted that their purchase of music had declined, while others said that it prompted them to buy more.

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