Media usage in Germany - Statistics & Facts

Television, radio, books and newspapers still remain the types of media which attract the broadest user group with at least occasional usage in Germany, even if figures have been fluctuating only very slightly in recent years and not showing significant growth. During a survey conducted in 2019, 91 percent of German media users stated they watched TV, compared to 93 percent the year before. Also 91 percent listened to the radio and 86 percent read books. Meanwhile, that same year, newspapers, including both printed and e-papers, were read by 77 percent of respondents, a drop from 85 percent a year earlier.

Regarding daily media usage time, German media consumers spent an average of 236 minutes a day watching TV, 100 minutes listening to the radio and 101 minutes on the internet in 2019. A year earlier, figures on device ownership for household media consumption showed that 94 percent of media users owned a TV and 91 percent had a smartphone, with numbers having grown steadily in the four years prior to that. Among the devices used for personal media consumption in 2019, smartphones topped the ranking at 89 percent, with TV devices following closely behind at 88 percent and radios being the third most-used at 87 percent. Laptops were catching up at 70 percent.

In 2018, the share of television viewers in Germany amounted to roughly 70 percent, while daily TV viewing time differed by age group. That year, 3- to 13-year-olds spent 64 minutes a day on average watching television, compared to 84 minutes in the 14 to 29 age group. Viewers aged 50 years and older spent an average of 153 minutes a day in front of the TV. Based on data from the same year regarding the market share of TV channels in Germany, public-service TV broadcaster ZDF ranked first with just under 14 percent. As of 2019, the most popular tv genres were the news, crime series and movies, with animal and nature programs concluding the top three.

In 2019, 36.5 million people listened to the radio daily, compared to 12.6 million who did so almost daily and 10.5 million who turned it on sometimes. According to a study conducted that same year on the daily reach of German radio, 78 percent of female and 76 percent of male listeners were reached. Across age groups, the highest reach was recorded among listeners aged 50 years and older at 80.7 percent. Another evaluation showed that 37 percent of respondents occasionally listened to live radio online. Based on gross contacts, the three leading radio stations in Germany are Radio NRW, Bayern 1 and WDR 2.

The number of internet users in Germany has shown consistent growth up until 2019. In the last decade alone, user numbers increased from 42.7 million in 2008 to 63.3 million in 2018, with the first sign of a decline coming in 2019 when the number of users recorded amounted to 62.9 million. Meanwhile, with the rise of mobile device use, growth was also visible in the share of mobile internet users, at 68 percent in 2018. Among age groups, in 2019, the highest share of internet users was recorded among 14- to 19-year-olds and 20- to 29-year olds at 100%, while the lowest share, still at an impressive 58 percent, was found among users aged 70 years and older. As of September 2019, the leading German websites by visits were eBay Kleinanzeigen with 572.5 million visits, followed by and with roughly 431.8 and 413.9 million visits respectively.

Developments in the digital media landscape in particular have influenced the existence of German print media. As of 2019, 41.4 million people still read newspapers several times a week during their free time, compared to 11 million who do so several times a month. However, figures on the circulation of daily newspapers in Germany show a continuing trend of decrease, from 20 million copies in 2008 to 13.5 million in 2018.

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Media usage in Germany

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