Over 50 million listen to internet audio, 19 million via a Smart TV
According to Online Audio Monitor 2023 internet audio usage in Germany is reaching a new high: 50.2 million people in Germany listen to audio offerings from the Internet at least occasionally, which corresponds to 71% of the population aged 14 and over. The biggest increase was recorded by web radio, which was listened to more often in the age group of 50 and over. However, music streaming remains the most used online audio format in the general population (60%), ahead of web radio (52%), podcasts or radio programs for listening (30%) and audio books and radio plays (24%).
Smart listenership: Almost two thirds of the population in Germany aged 14 and over (45.3 million) listen to online audio at least once a month, most of them still via their smartphone (80%). Other “smart” devices such as smart speakers, smart TVs, smartwatches and also WLAN radios are increasing significantly. The availability of smart speakers in particular is growing significantly – by 22% compared to the previous year. 19.2 million people aged 14 and over now have access to a loudspeaker with voice control. And: Almost everyone also uses online audio content via their smart speaker, primarily music streaming (73%) and web radio (72%).
Smart TVs are becoming more and more relevant as audio devices. More than a quarter of those aged 14 and over in Germany (27%) listen to online audio content via their Smart TV, most of them web radio (75%) or music streaming (60%). Access to the Smart TV is usually via a streaming app (48%) or the app of a radio station or media library (41%). Almost a third each cite sound and comfort as a main reason for using online audio via the Smart TV.
Smart cars: Half of the population aged 14 and over in Germany (49%) listens to online audio offers when they travel by car, bus, train, plane, bicycle or on foot. The car plays a prominent role here: 60% of regular online audio users listen to online audio content there - making “in the car” the most common usage situation of all. Music streaming (56%) and web radio (52%) are the most frequently used online audio offerings here. The built-in infotainment system is also the control center in the car for online audio. Two thirds use the content directly via the infotainment system (67%), and almost half (also) connect their smartphone or tablet to it (48%).
The online audio world brings with it an unprecedented diversity of offerings. And this diversity is well received – this is reflected not least in the growing popularity of online audio in the 50+ age group, says Dr. Thorsten Schmiege, President of the Bavarian State Center for New Media (BLM). It's clear that this diversity also belongs in the car: there has to be fair play in the cockpit, i.e.the smart infotainment devices must ensure equal and non-discriminatory access to the various content. This is exactly what the state media authorities are committed to.
Marco Maier, chairman of the radio and audio services department at VAUNET - the commercial broadcasting association adds: The easy findability of programs on the user interfaces of modern in-car infotainment systems is extremely important for us radio broadcasters and our listeners. Maier welcome the media authorities' commitment in this area, especially as the relevance of web radio and online audio continues to increase. We are of course pleased by the positive development of web radio usage and confirm the commitment of private radio stations.
The online audio monitor impressively demonstrates how the use of interactive online audio formats is expanding: TV sets are becoming radios and cars are becoming smart online devices, says Björn Kaspring, deputy chairman of the audio focus group in the Federal Association of the Digital Economy (BVDW) and Vice President Product Management Ströer Digital Media. Today, advertisers have access to a high, advertising-relevant reach, which, in conjunction with data-based advertising control and proof of performance as well as the programmatic trading of audio advertising, makes online audio a highly efficient and innovative marketing channel.
The survey period of the online audio monitor was from April 24th to June 13th, 2023.
The clients of the study carried out by mindline media are the Bavarian State Center for New Media (BLM), the Berlin-Brandenburg Media Authority (mabb), the Baden-Württemberg Media Authority (LFK), the North Rhine-Westphalia State Media Authority, the Federal Association of the Digital Economy ( BVDW), VAUNET – Association of Private Media and RMS (Radio Marketing Service).
FM radio is still the number one radio listening device but is declining. And DAB+ shows signs of stagnation. 55.8 percent of those over the age of 14 still use FM as the most used for radio reception.