ARD/ZDF streaming study shows decline in viewing

The viewership of online media content or streams in Germany peaked in 2022, according to public broadcasters, ARD and ZDF.

Their study shows a decline in the use of online media of 21 minutes to 139 minutes a day with the decline in online media use apparent across all age groups.

When the last set of data was collected in 2021 there were still a number of Coronavirus restrictions in place, leading ARD/ZDF to conclude that more time is being spent on non-media and activities outside of the home.

Younger people spend an average of more than four hours per day on media internet content, while those aged 70 and over only spend a half an hour.

In addition to hours viewed the number of people who use media over the internet has also fallen, though the numbers are still above pre-Covid levels.

ZDF planning chief Dr. Florian Kumb on the results of the ARD/ZDF online study said: “The increase in internet usage during the Corona period has normalised. This means that the competition between digital media providers is becoming tougher. At the same time, the ARD and ZDF media libraries now reach more than half of the population Germany – the trend is rising. This has brought us closer to our corporate goal of “One ZDF for everyone”.

The daily reach for media internet has fallen slightly to 65% (a fall of 7 percentage points). This decline can be explained primarily by declining reach when using texts on the internet (36%, – 8 percentage points). Videos on the internet are still watched by 1 in 2 people (-1 percentage point).

“Our goal is to give everyone seamless and convenient access to all public content. We have now achieved that. The ARD media library, together with the ZDF media library, is a User-oriented streaming network was created. For our users, we combine the best digital offerings and their premium content with the diversity of regions,” said Benjamin Fischer, head of ARD Online and the ARD Digitalboard.

On a normal day, 82% of 14 to 29-year-olds watch videos on the internet, and of 30 to 49-year-olds the figure is 65%. The daily reach of audio online is also declining slightly (37%, – 5 percentage points). Music streaming is still the most widespread application (41%) daily or weekly, followed by listening to radio over the internet (25%) and listening to podcasts or radio reports on demand (29%).

The ARD and ZDF media libraries both capture more than half the available audience: at 54% (ARD) and 55% (ZDF), they reach well over half of the population, at least rarely. 22% (ARD) and 21% (ZDF) watch programs and films in the two public media libraries at least once a week.

Among the commercial services, Netflix and Prime Video continue to clearly lead the market: 36% of people use Netflix’s offering at least once a week. Amazon Prime Video is at 26% and is positioned ahead of Disney+ (13 %) and Sky’s digital offerings (11%).