Media use after Corona: Less radio, more video and non-linear content

Despite the easing of the pandemic, Germans continue to consume a lot of media. Radio and TV lose out in favor of video, which is particularly popular with younger people.

Despite the significantly relaxed corona measures, people in Germany continue to use a wide variety of media intensively: At around seven hours a day, the trend towards media consumption this year remains only slightly below the level of the pandemic year 2021. However, the importance of the different age groups and the preference for linear offers is dwindling. These are the results of the ARD/ZDF mass communication trends 2022 survey, which ARD has now presented.

Virtually all (99 percent) of those surveyed use media on a daily basis. Videos continue to have the greatest reach (88 percent, same as last year). Linear TV continues to reach a large part of the population: 65 percent watch TV every day. Audio content consumption also has a wide reach at 80 percent, but it shrank by 5 percent from 2021 levels. When it comes to audio content, linear radio programming continues to dominate with 68 percent, but is down 8 percent.

Almost two thirds of those surveyed (63 percent) also consume editorial (journalistic) content in text form on a daily basis. This value is 18 percent higher than the previous year’s value due to a change in the method of data collection and thus better reflects the fact that online articles are also being read more frequently. Overall, daily media use in 2022 will drop by 9 minutes compared to the previous year and will stand at 420 minutes per day (seven hours). Video content accounted for 240 minutes, audio content for 170 minutes (decrease of 8 and 7 percent, respectively) and reading journalistic text for 70 minutes (overlaps are excluded from the total value).

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The survey reveals a new trend: Young people under 30 are watching video content more often and longer. ARD and ZDF also attribute this to the multiplied digital distribution channels and the large number of offers and devices. In the 14 to 29 age group, this content has the highest reach at 94 percent and a high value with 194 minutes of daily use. Contrary to popular belief, people in this age group not only consume videos via social media and streaming platforms, but also TV content (38 percent of the group), which is played out via a media library or YouTube. The over-50s are still particularly fond of TV: They spend 250 minutes a day consuming moving images, mainly television.

In general, the importance of linearly distributed content is shrinking – digital (streamed) content is increasingly preferred, especially among younger people. The latter are also spending less and less time with audio content. Podcasts and time-delayed radio programs are popular with younger people (49 percent).

Another topic in the survey was the appreciation of public service broadcasting (ÖR). It was shown that all age groups consider the offers of the ÖR to be socially relevant (81 percent) and credible (78 percent). In contrast, social media are considered to be significantly less credible; However, they have a high personal relevance, especially for younger people.

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The survey (results as graphics in a PDF file) is based on the responses of 2007 participants from Germany who were at least 14 years old. Of these, 70 percent were interviewed by phone, 30 percent were persuaded to participate online and also answered the questions online. The latter represents a change in method in the representative surveys conducted annually by ARD and ZDF since 2017 and therefore led to changes in the results in 2022.

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