Halted growth of streaming services

Slight dips in usage of Netflix and Prime Video / Progression of the coronavirus pandemic correlates with video usage

Frankfurt, December 9, 2021. Usage of paid video-on-demand services dipped somewhat in the late summer and fall. In the study “AGF TV Platform 2021-II,” 41.3 percent of respondents said they had used one paid streaming service in the last four weeks, indicative of a decline of 1.8 percentage points (2021-I: 43.1 percent). “After the many months of restrictions imposed to combat the coronavirus crisis, people evidently pursued leisure activities other than video usage in the summer and fall. Having already observed this effect not only in our linear TV measurement, but also in streaming services, we are now seeing it in the Platform Study as well: Nearly all streaming services are affected by this coronavirus effect,” explained Kerstin Niederauer-Kopf, CEO of AGF Videoforschung.

For the Platform Study, which Kantar conducts twice a year on behalf of AGF, around 2,500 German-speaking persons aged 14 and older in TV households are surveyed in each wave. The survey for the TV Platform 2021-II was conducted from 23/08 to 17/10/2021; the spring wave 2021-I was conducted from 22/02 to 18/04/2021, thus in the middle of the lockdown.

Asked about their usage of online video services – whether paid or free – 30.5 percent of respondents said they used Netflix in the last four weeks, as compared to 32.3 percent in the preceding 2020-I study. Prime Video usage came to 22.6 percent (2021-I: 24.1 percent), Disney+ usage to 8.3 percent (2021-I: 8.6 percent). The negative coronavirus effect also impacted the online services of the TV broadcasters. Compared to the previous wave, at least once-per-month usage of these services fell to 31.1 percent (2021-I: 35.9 percent), although that was still slightly higher than the level reported in 2020 (2020-II: 29.5 percent). Usage of the services of the public channels, which had benefitted considerably from heightened interest in news during the coronavirus pandemic, declined to 25.2 percent (2021-I: 30.2 percent), but that was still higher than the level observed in 2020. The same goes for videos on news portals, usage of which declined to 16.9 percent (2021-I: 21.5 percent).

In the latest survey, only TV Now (RTL+ since 04/11/2021) posted slight gains: 5.8 percent of respondents said they used the streaming service of RTL Deutschland in the last four weeks (2021-I: 5.4 percent).


Higher Internet usage on smartphones and game consoles / Satellite more popular than cable

Both Internet and device usage in the last four weeks are surveyed for the Platform Study. Compared to 2021-I, Internet usage increased again, from 86.0 to 89.1 percent. Smartphones (82.0 percent) and PCs/laptops (73.2 percent) in particular are used for online consumption, followed at a distance by smart TVs (48.9 percent) and tablets (38.9 percent). Internet usage on game consoles rose to 15.9 percent.

In terms of TV reception levels, satellite still ranks first with a share of 45.8 percent, followed by cable with 41.8 percent. IPTV usage was a little less than 10 percent, terrestrial reception 2.5 percent.



“The coronavirus pandemic is ruling people’s lives again. We expect that potential restrictions and the subsequent easing of restrictions on public life will be reflected again in video usage. Therefore, the ongoing pandemic that began in 2020 should always be considered when drawing comparisons,” Niederauer-Kopf said.


Methodology profile

Name of study:           TV Platform

Conducted:                 Twice a year

Institute:                      Kantar

Survey method:          Computer-assisted personal interviews (CAPIs) and household inspection

Sample:                      Proportional, representative random sample on the basis of the ADM Face-to-Face Sample System

                                   Wave 2021-II: Sample size n=2,404

                                   Wave 2021-I: Sample size n= 2,392

Field time:                 Wave 2021-II: 23/08-17/10/2021

                                   Wave 2021-I:  22/02-18/04/2021

Universe:                    German-speaking population aged 14 and older in TV households (private households with a German-speaking main income earner, persons in these households aged 3 and older)

Methodological adjustment in the TV Platform 2021-II study: The Platform Study had previously been weighted by ma Radio. This external specification has been replaced with the AGF Video Potentials, which also serves as the external specification for the entire AGF System as of 01/01/2022 and now includes, for the first time, information from the Platform Study in addition to the survey data from the Potential Study conducted in collaboration with agof and ag.ma. The Platform Study is conducted with a sophisticated methodology by which the interviewers also inspect the TV households, enabling them to obtain exact information as to which pay-TV providers and streaming services are used.

About AGF Videoforschung GmbH (www.agf.de)

AGF Videoforschung GmbH specializes in impartial video research. AGF continuously tracks the use of video content in Germany on a quantitative basis and analyses the data collected. It invests many millions of euros per year to continuously refine its instruments in order to deliver reliable data on the use of video content to the market on a daily basis. AGF consults closely with all market partners, including licensed TV stations, advertisers and media agencies.

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