Munich, September 14th, 2023 - Online audio consumption in Germany has hit an all-time high: 50.2 million Germans now at least occasionally tune into web-based audio, accounting for 71% of those aged 14 and above.
This represents a modest increase of 2 percentage points from last year. The biggest gain was recorded by web radio, proving especially popular among the 50+ age group. However, music streaming remains the prevailing online audio format in the overall population (60%), followed by web radio (52%), podcasts and catch-up radio shows (30%), and audio books and plays (24%). These are the standout insights from the Online Audio Monitor 2023, which was unveiled today at an online event.
Smart listeners: Nearly two thirds of the population in Germany aged 14 and up (45.3 million) listen to online audio at least once a month, predominantly on their smartphone (80%). Usage on other ‘smart’ devices such as smart speakers, smart TVs, smartwatches and internet radios is on the rise. Smart speakers, in particular, have seen a notable growth of 22% from the previous year. An impressive 19.2 million people aged 14 and up now possess a voice-controlled speaker. And almost all of them stream online audio content through these devices, mainly music streaming (73%) and web radio (72%).
Smart televisions: Smart TVs – televisions that are connected to the internet directly or via additional devices – are rising in prominence as audio devices. Over a quarter of those aged 14+ in Germany (27%) access online audio via their smart TV, predominantly web radio (75%) or music streaming (60%). The principal means of access is via streaming apps (48%) or apps from radio stations or media libraries (41%). Nearly a third of the users highlight sound quality and convenience as primary drivers for using their smart TVs for online audio. For a fifth, the smart TV is the only device with a loudspeaker in the room, while almost as many value the additional onscreen information and visuals.
Smart cars: Half of Germany’s population aged 14 and up (49%) listen to online audio whilst on the move, whether by car, bus, train, plane, bicycle, or foot. The car plays a pivotal role: 60% of regular online audio users listen to online audio content while driving, making in-car listening the most common scenario. Music streaming (56%) and web radio (52%) are the top choices in this context. The integrated infotainment system is also the primary interface for online audio in cars. Two-thirds access content directly through this system (67%), while just under half also connect their smartphone or tablet to it (48%).
“The realm of online audio is teeming with an unparalleled array of content. And this variety resonates, as demonstrated not least by the growing consumption of online audio in the over-50s age group,” declared Dr. Thorsten Schmiege, Bavarian regulatory authority of new media (BLM). “This variety clearly also belongs in the car. Fair play is essential in the cockpit. Smart infotainment systems must guarantee equal, unbiased access to the varied content. This is exactly what the regulatory authorities in Germany are striving for.”
We’re heartened by the positive trend in web radio usage, which confirms the dedication of commercial radio stations
Marco Maier, Chairman of the Radio and Audio Services Board at VAUNET and Chief Executive Officer of Radio/Tele FFH