Increase in Internet Users in Germany
An interesting article in Bloomberg Technology charts the internet users in Germany and anticipates a surprising growth. Almost unbelievable is the growth prognosis for internet usage in Germany.
For the first time in 2017 it is anticipated that adults in Germany will spend more time on the internet than watching TV. For Germans TV has still been a great viewing medium. Ratings are high with many hugely popular shows posting excellent viewer numbers. TV commercials are also generally of high quality although a fair number of them have been dubbed from the originals.
It is anticipated that people aged 18 and over will spend an average of 3hrs and 44 minutes a day online on a computing device whether desktop, laptop or mobile. This is only 6 minutes more than anticipated TV viewing times. Still it’s a shift from traditional to present consumption of media. Even the older generation is switching over much to the surprise of analysts.
The Effect on Traditional Media Suppliers
The shift is affecting established media companies. ProSiebenSat.1, Media SE and RTL Soupr owned by media giant Bertelsmann have been forced to expand their digital offering. They are having to fight off competition from international web based streaming services such as Amazon, HBO and Netflix.
Adding to this move from TV to internet is the the fact that mobile is becoming the preferred gadget to view internet on. This denotes a move from desktop and laptop to smartphone which has happened in the UK already in 2016.
Germany’s 63.6 million internet users are the highest number in western Europe. This number has risen in particular as the older generation is taking to the internet.
Are Businesses in Germany Responding to this Trend?
Considering the advanced economy, the educated population and the relatively well-off population of Germany it is surprising to see how slow Germany’s businesses are in going online. In particular smaller businesses feel they can get away with a Facebook page at the most to present their services or products to their target audience.
So far the perception is that word of mouth or industry specific online portals where one can buy a small listing space is sufficient of an online presence. It is a given that this business strategy worked in the past. But as the German consumer becomes more internet savvy and as online businesses such as Amazon erode their market share even the German business owner might have to take the plunge and actually invest in a good website. And if it is also in English then finding an English speaker to proof read the translation might also be a good idea.