The cornerstone of audience research is the AGF Panel, which AGF operates in collaboration with GfK and has continuously evolved from a TV to a moving image panel. The AGF Video Research systematically expanded the panel in multiple stages. In the 1980s, it comprised only about 2,700 households, but the panel size has since almost doubled, now encompassing a minimum of 5,265 households with around 11,000 people. Including so-called non-TV households, i.e., households without a traditional big screen, the AGF Panel covers at least 5,400 households. This expanded panel serves as the basis for evaluations in the market standard video.


Since the beginning of the year 2016, the target population has been the "resident population in the Federal Republic of Germany in private households with at least one television in use and a German-speaking main income earner."

In the video standard market the target population expands to the "resident population in the Federal Republic of Germany in private households with at least one television in use or at least one streaming-capable device and a German-speaking main income person."

With this target population, the usage of video standard housholds is represented by approximately 78.271 million individuals aged 3 and above in 40.478 million households with moving image capabilities (01/01/2024).

Panel Survey

As part of the structural survey, panel households are surveyed once a year (in writing: PAPI or online). Based on the collected household and personal characteristics, a multitude of target groups is formed, which are available for the analyses. Additionally, AGF utilizes these structural information to adjust the daily weighting of the AGF Panel.


External specifications

The selection of panel households is based on annually updated specifications, which are drawn from the AGF Video Potentials Study as of 01/01/2022. It consists of two elements: the Potentials Study, which AGF has conducted in collaboration with agof and agma since 2020, and AGF’s own Platform Study.

The Potentials Study consists of 20,000 representative interviews, which are conducted by telephone in two tranches (autumn wave of the preceding year plus spring wave).

The Platform Study consisting of another 5,000 cases is conducted by means of a sophisticated methodology under which the interviewers also visit the households, enabling them to obtain exact information concerning the pay-TV providers and streaming services that are used in the household.

As only respondents aged 14 and older can be questioned in the survey, the specifications for children aged 3 to 13 are supplemented with information from the Micro Census.

The target specifically for the “Platform” characteristic is additionally derived from the Platform Study as a further updating specification to describe pay-TV households. An audit conducted under the responsibility of the Deloitte accounting firm, which provides specifications for the distribution of Sky as the biggest provider in the German pay-TV Market, is additionally applied to represent the distribution within the Pay-TV segment as validly as possible.

The target specifications are updated at the turn of the year, as a general rule. The specifications for the “Platform” and “Sky” characteristics are additionally updated again as of 1 July of every year.


The basis for the sample of panel households is the ADM Sampling System, which was updated in 2011 by the association of German market and social research institutions (Arbeitskreis deutscher Markt- und Sozialforschungsinstitute, ADM) and consists of approximately 53,000 sampling points. These are small territorial units consisting of small municipalities, urban districts, or road sections covering the entire inhabited territory of the Federal Republic of Germany. By using this sample system every household is given a chance to be recruited for the panel.



The recruitment of households for the AGF Panel is carried out through the following procedures: Based on a representative sample, households are contacted via CATI (Dual Frame 70/30) / Random Route, and in a short telephone interview, it is determined whether the household meets the specified requirements for the AGF Panel in terms of socio-demographic characteristics and reception situation (CATI screening). At least 70 percent of initial contacts are generated through this method.

Additionally, it is possible that initial contacts for certain target groups are also obtained through online contact or in the quota procedure. The proportion in this case should not exceed 30 percent of household recruitments per year. If a household is deemed suitable, a face-to-face recruitment interview for the AGF Panel is conducted. During this recruitment interview, additional information about the household is gathered analogously to the structural survey. After successful recruitment, the measurement technology is installed, and the household is included in the daily reporting.


Panel households are distributed throughout Germany, with at least 213 representative households being available in each federal state. In this way, AGF ensures – even for smaller federal states – that there are enough households to also monitor local television providers.

The resulting disproportionate distribution of households among the states is rebalanced by the daily weighting.

The non-TV households in the AGF Panel are distributed across the 4 regions North, South, East, and West due to the lower case count.

The weighting is performed in two steps:

  • Preliminary weighting is performed daily once GfK has transmitted and verified the data retrieved overnight. The TV ratings for the previous day’s television usage are created on this basis.
  • For the final weighting, after eight days the additional households retrieved during this period are also included and the preliminary weighting factors are overwritten with the final factors. Time-shifted usage that occurred in the three intervening days is also included at this point.

The weighting process ensures precise extrapolation to all TV and video households and all individuals age 3 or over living in them throughout Germany.

Reception levels

Four reception levels for TV which also are relevant for  recruiting and weighting are distinguished:

  • until 2023: IPTV, Satellite, Cable, and Terrestrial
  • from 2024: Satellite, Cable, Terrestrial, and Internet (TV)

Definitions (from 2024):

  • Satellite: TV reception via a satellite dish or a satellite communal system.
  • Cable: TV reception through a cable connection, usually with a monthly fee to a cable network operator (alternative billing through rental charges is possible).
  • Terrestrial: TV reception via DVB-T/DVB-T2, requiring a house, room, or rod antenna, and a DVB-T/DVB-T2 receiver.
  • Internet (TV): TV reception via the internet, including IPTV, OTT, and hybrid offerings.

The reception methods are determined in households for all TV devices under measurement (including connected auxiliary devices). Based on the reception level hierarchy, each household is assigned to exactly one reception level.

Currently, satellite reception constitutes the largest share.

Development of TV reception levels (households in %)

© Source: AGF Videoforschung; AGF SCOPE 1.5; Households; 01/01/2024; Market standard: TV; Analysis type Strukture analysis; Package number: 13040 from 27/02/2024