TV still rules in Germany

01 September 2011

BERLIN: Television retains a lead role in Germany, with more consumers still regularly watching broadcast content than surfing the net or reading newspapers for pleasure, a study has found.

The Foundation for Future Studies, a unit of British American Tobacco, commissioned GfK, the research firm, to survey 6,000 people aged 14 years old and over.

In all, the average respondent had four hours and three minutes of leisure time on a typical weekday, a record high measured against previous similar analysis.

More specifically, the "normal" participant engaged in 27 different pastimes during the week, improving from 25 in 2007.

Watching TV was the most popular leisure activity, as 97% of the sample tuning in at least once every seven days, and around 75% doing so on a daily basis.

Television came in ahead of making phone calls on 91%, listening to the radio, posting 89%, and reading newspapers or magazines, logging 79%.

Only 48% of the panel used the web purely for leisure with the same frequency, although this constituted an increase of nine percentage points on 2007.

Weekly usage levels hit 71% when contributors had a degree and 32% where formal education ended at secondary school, matching the gap observable between people earning €3,500 and €1,000 a month.

"The importance of the internet should be assessed realistically," Ulrich Reinhardt, scientific director at the Foundation for Future Studies, told Die Welt. "Television remains the dominant medium among Germans."

According to Reinhardt, a key reason TV remains pre-eminent is that it does not require any active engagement on the part of viewers. "Actually, one can speak of passivities more than recreational activities," he said.

Beyond using media, one place Germans are spending a greater amount of time is in pubs, visited by 35% of people at least once a month, up from 28% in 2007.

Overall, 34% of interviewees would like to have more time for themselves, a total reaching 55% for families, the study added.

Data sourced from Die Welt; additional content by Warc staff