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Media Consumption

According to the The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) report of 2017, citizens of Serbia tend not to trust the media in general. The lowest trust is in print media (Net Trust Index1 -36), followed by TV, radio and social networks (Net Trust Index -20). People in Serbia tend to trust the Internet the most (Net Trust Index -2). Across all segments of the market, trust in media is showing a decreasing trend.

Despite the low levels of trust, Serbian citizens use the media regularly. In 2016 they spent an average of 24.2 minutes reading newspapers, 14.5 minutes reading magazines, 317 minutes watching TV, 87 minutes listening to radio and 175 minutes on the Internet per day. The typical Serbian citizen spent an daily average of over ten hours (617.7 minutes) consuming different types of media in total.

Television, as a traditional medium, remains the most popular in Serbia, with the biggest audience share and the highest consumption frequency. The average weekly TV viewership in 2016 counts  4 770 000  citizens of Serbia. According to data of the Statistical Office of Serbia for 2016, 97.8% of households own at least one TV set, while 57.3% of them have cable TV. Although the appearance of Internet marked a significant change in media consumption habits, TV still remains to be the leading medium for obtaining daily information (53.2%, in 2016).

Internet, as a modern mass medium has a significant penetration in the general population and it has become the second most important medium for obtaining daily information (36.8% in 2016) in Serbia. Currently almost two thirds, as many as 64.7% of the households in Serbia have Internet access, while the percentage of those which enjoy a broadband connection has increased to 57.8% in 2016. According to data of the Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia for that year, 65.8%  of the households have a personal computer.

As regards the trend however, it is obvious that the share of Internet increases at the expense of TV.

A significant low of only 1.6% of Serbians use radio as a source to get information, the majority mostly listens to it for entertainment. The average weekly listenership of radio counts around 3 300 000 citizens of Serbia older than 16 years of age in 2016. Over two thirds of households in Serbia (68% ) own a radio. From 2009 till 2014 the percentage of citizens who had technical means to listen to radio via the Internet doubled, from 24%, to 51%.

When it comes to print media, only one out of twenty Serbians uses it to obtain news and information. Daily newspapers have experienced the biggest decline in the overall consumption compared to other types of media.  Some of it’s readership has moved to the Internet, where most dailies are increasing efforts to survive.

[1] The Net Trust Index was developed by EBU Media Intelligence Service to obtain an idea of the level of trust each country's citizens have in the different types of media. The net trust index is defined as the difference between percentage of the population who answered „tend to trust“ and „tend not to trust“to the survey question, not taking into account „do not know“ replies.

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