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Newspapers in Germany - Statistics & Facts

The German newspaper market looks back on a long history of publishing and consumption. Among print media, newspapers are still considered influential, with titles ranging from municipal to national. Some of the best-known national newspapers in Germany are published daily. However, newspapers, as print media in general, are facing falling sales figures year after year. The paid circulation of daily and Sunday newspapers in Germany has been decreasing for over twenty years now, amounting to 14.1 million copies sold in 2020. At the same time, e-paper versions have seen increasing sales. This example illustrates a continuous trend in the print media industry, namely a constantly growing preference among consumers for online media consumption. In this case, consumption relates to online or digital versions of newspapers formerly bought and read on paper.

Total figures on daily newspaper circulation in Germany further confirm a decrease in copies printed, with 12.3 million recorded in 2021. For comparison, ten years earlier over 19 million copies were printed, which also already followed annual drops in numbers. Even the Sunday edition of Germany's best-known tabloid, Bild am Sonntag, was struggling with paid circulation in recent years. Meanwhile, monthly unique user numbers on the Bild website, though fluctuating, recorded periodical growth. The latter may be attributable to the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic in Germany, with readers spending longer periods of time at home or even being quarantined. Süddeutsche Zeitung and Zeit Online, both national newspapers, were among the leading news websites in Germany, though lower on the list compared to Bild. Digital newspapers had the highest reach among the 30-49 age group.

The Bild national daily edition recorded the biggest reach by far among German readers, followed by the Süddeutsche Zeitung and the FAZ. The German population still reads newspapers in their free time several times weekly, though these numbers have been decreasing in the last four years. In 2020, almost 26.54 million people in Germany lived in a household with a daily newspaper subscription.

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