The greater the legal offer of cultural content on the Internet (music, series and films, television or books), the less piracy. This is one of the main conclusions that can be drawn from the macro-survey on habits and cultural practices of the Spanish presented this morning by the Ministry of Culture. This indicates that while 52% of respondents have a subscription to platforms (this is the first time they have asked about it in this survey that is done every four years), free downloads via the Internet have been reduced since 2015 from 18.3 % to 5.1%, in the case of music; and from 16.1% to 3.7%, in the videos.
A piracy decline which could be still much greater, as explained by the ministry's specialists: in the previous consultation, the vast majority of free downloads (that 18.3% and that 16.1%) were surely irregular, since there was hardly any legal offer , but now only half of them are, that is, the percentage of pirates is 2.8% in music and 2% in video. In any case, the decrease in these activities is not only due to the greater legal offer, said the Minister of Culture Jose Guirao during the presentation of the work, but to this we must add a greater social awareness and greater persecution of the Administrations and justice of those responsible for the dissemination of irregular content. And, despite the great improvement in the figures, Guirao has warned: "Do not let your guard down."
For the rest, the survey, a new installment of a job that has been going on for more than two decades and that on this occasion has consulted 16,000 people over 15 years between June 2018 and March 2019, draws a picture of cultural consumption quite stable, with variants more in the forms (with Internet in the center of everything) than in the majority objects of consumption, but with generalized increases with respect to the last years: 85.8% listen to music (three points more than it does eight years); 65.8% read books (almost seven points more) and 57.8% go to the cinema (8.7 points more than then, it should be remembered, in the middle of the economic crisis).
Of course, the increases have a notable exception: television consumption, which has gone from 98% in 2002-2003, to 94.9% in 2014-2015 and to the current 90%. The number of viewers on the Internet, however, continues to increase: four years ago they were 8.9% and now they are 13.5%.
In fact, three quarters of the population (75.1%) used the Internet for leisure in the last month. And it is not only the intensive use suggested by that 52% of people with subscriptions to platforms, but the one that points to other details such as 8.3% who make virtual visits to museums, 9.9% who access libraries or the 5.3% who buy books through the Network.
The ministry also wanted to highlight in the presentation of the study the growth of the population that visits monuments or sites (50.8% versus 42.8% four years ago), museums, exhibitions and art galleries (46, 7%, 7.3 points more), attending classical music concerts (30.1%, 5.6 points more), from classical (from 29.2% to 34.2%), to the theater (24, 5%, 1.3 more), to dance (8%, one more) and opera (3.3%, six more). The zarzuela and the circus, however, are still in regression, reaching percentages of 1.5% and 7.3%, respectively.
But in that still photo of more or less fairly stable preferences over the years, the macro survey attracts attention in some points. The first one, in what has to do with the access of new technologies in the publishing world, because although the reading of books by digital means continues to grow substantially (from 6.5% to 17.7% and at 20.2% current), the preference for the paper book remains: it is still the favorite format of most readers, 61.9%. Reading is also one of the sections in which the gender gap is most perceived: the annual reading rate is 69.4% compared to 62%.
Likewise, the ministry highlights how in practically all sections consumption is higher among the youngest, something that surely has a lot to do with leisure time and work and family responsibilities and also with another of the most obvious conclusions: level of studies, more cultural consumption.
The work also notes the interrelationship between one offer and another, that is, those who go to museums a lot are more likely to also go to the movies and concerts, and how habits in this area have a lot to do with what they have done as children. That is, if they have been to the theater since childhood or have seen their parents read or listen to music. For example, while 59.5% of the general population has read a book for leisure in the last year, the rate goes up to 85.6% in those who have read for leisure usually in their childhood.
The press sector is very aware of these changes in consumer habits that have brought new technologies. The clues offered by the Survey of cultural habits and practices 2018-2019 they are, among others, that 76.9% of the population usually read at least once a month press or periodicals, 3.2 points less than four years ago and 4.5 less in 2006-2007. Of these, 42.9% use the Internet, although 52.4% of those who read the press still prefer at least once a month.
By focusing on the general information press, the study says that 44.4% usually read it daily, 65.8% at least once a week or on the weekend and 69.7% at least once a month. The vast majority of those who read this press through the Internet (they represent 39.8%) do so for free (39.3%)
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