BERLIN: Almost three quarters of online Germans are streaming video over the internet, a total of 40m people, according to a new survey.

BITKOM, the high-tech trade association, polled 1,004 people aged over 14 years, of which 777 were internet users and found that 73% of the latter group were using video streaming sites. The remaining 27% were still downloading videos before watching them.

"Streaming services change our viewing habits permanently," said Dr. Christian P. llek of BITKOM. "They enable consumers to determine independently when and where they want to watch movies, series or news."

Just over half (53%) watched videos on sites like YouTube, ClipFish or Vimeo, while slightly fewer (46%) were sent articles and broadcasts from online media libraries. One in five (19%) used on-demand portals such as Watchever, Maxdome or Amazon Prime Instant Video for series and movies.

Further, one in three (37%) had at least once streamed broadcast TV live over the internet.

BITKOM also found that many people viewed streamed video on a regular basis: 40% watched them several times a week while 14% did so daily. And while most (78%) preferred use free services, almost one in six (17%) were paying for premium offerings.

Video streaming was widely used in almost all age groups, although this was most evident among the younger ones.

Fully 87% of 14-to-29-year-old internet users said they watched streaming video, compared to 78% of 30-to-49 year olds and 65% of 50-to-64 year olds. But even among the over-65s there was a significant proportion (34%) involved in this activity.

The German streaming market will get a further boost as Netflix launches there next month as part of a European expansion that will also see it moving into France, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and Luxembourg.

Data sourced from BITKOM, Hollywood Reporter; additional content by Warc staff