The TV continues to be the preferred platform for viewing television in Germany, with 94% of those surveyed using the TV to view television content (defined as TV broadcasts, broadcasters' catch-up services and online VoD services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime). This was the conclusion of a survey commissioned by the German Central Central Association of the Electrical Engineering and Electronics Industries (ZVEI) and conducted by Gfk. The study also found that on-demand viewing was growing, while viewing of scheduled programming was in decline, particularly among the millennial age group.
Other device platforms were also popular, with 78% of respondents selecting a desktop or laptop, and 65% selecting a smartphone or tablet. The survey found that 85% of respondents were receiving HD signals and just about half had smart TVs. Thirty-nine percent knew want a smart TV was, and felt capable of explaining it; with a further 29% saying they had a rough idea what the term meant.
In fact, smart TVs are quite important for the German consumer: Internet connectivity was important for about half of all respondents when buying a new TV, and nearly 80% of those who were viewing Internet content via a connected device were doing it via a connected TV. This was consistent even among millennials, with 76% of them viewing online content via the smart TV. The most viewed content is from the catch-up services of local broadcasters, but 40% of respondents were willing to pay for online video content.
A total of 2,004 respondents were interviewed online for this study. The survey was fielded on November 14, 2016, and included quotas on age, gender, education and other factors, as well as weighting of the sample to be representative of German-speaking online users aged 14+.
Smart TVs are also driving adoption of Ultra HD in Germany, according to another study. German research company Veed Analytics reviewed the state of UHD offerings in the German VoD market in its December 2016 Snapshot report and found that the growing penetration of UHD smart TVs in Germany were driving adoption of UHD services. While admittedly at a very nascent stage, these were being led by online VoD providers.
Currently there were few services, but most were being offered as part of a Transactional VoD (TVoD) pricing model. Prices ranged from €3.99 ($4.28) to €7.99 ($8.58) for UHD-quality rentals, and €29.99 ($32.20) for purchases. Amazon Fire TV was the lowest priced option for a UHD streaming device, priced at €99.99 ($107.38) though Sky Deutschland has also launched a €99 UHD set-top box.
It's also a trend that is likely to drive more viewership on TV screens, since much of the benefit of UHD content and 4K resolution is only discernible on a 55-inch or larger screen.
Veed believes this could kick-start the UHD market in Germany as the price premiums are large enough to encourage more UHD VoD content from providers.
— Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation