The survey, carried out by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), reveals that 40 percent of Swedes between 15- and 74-years-old actively share music files illegally over the internet on a daily basis, or with less frequency.
The figure is equivalent to 2.8 million people, or nearly one third of Sweden’s population of 9 million people, a figure much higher than suggested by previous studies.
“It’s a very high figure but I’m not surprised,” the head of Ifpi’s Swedish chapter, Ludvig Werner, told the TT news agency.
As the study only asked about Swedes’ file sharing habits for music, rather than film, books, and other types of media, it’s likely that the actual number of Swedish file sharers is substantially higher than the survey suggests.
According to Werner, the figures in the IFPI study likely reveal a higher prevalence of illegal file sharing because it was conducted over the web rather than through fixed telephone lines.
“It means that all of the respondents are familiar with the internet. When you call someone’s home and ask questions, you get a slightly different target group,” he said.
Despite the IFPI survey’s surprisingly high figures, experts don’t believe they are exaggerated.
“It’s about half of all who have broadband connections, and that doesn’t sound unreasonable,” Jens Häger of the Mediavision consulting company, which has also carried out studies to measure the prevalence of file sharing in Sweden, told TT.