|Interest in news
(2nd out of 10)
The country’s federal structure has shaped its media environment, with a number of regional and national public broadcasters competing for audiences with powerful commercial operators. Each of the 16 regions regulates its own private and public broadcasting. Germany is home to some of the world’s largest media conglomerates, including Bertelsmann and the publisher Axel Springer. There are several national newspapers, but the press market is strongest at a regional level, with more than 300 titles. Newspapers and magazines have also taken a lead online, with public service broadcasters facing restrictions on the extent of their digital activities.
In response to declining sales of newspapers and magazines, a number of publishers in Germany have been experimenting with new models of paid online content. This may be on a pay-per-issue basis (Die Zeit), via subscription (BILDplus), or as voluntary payment for single articles (TAZ). Due to the variety of models there has been little chance for audiences to get used to any of the different models and become accustomed to the respective patterns of usage and payment. Over the past year, the number of people who have paid for online news has remained stable and there is only a slight increase in the likelihood that those who did not pay might do so in the future (2013: 9%, 2014: 15%).
Social networks and digital participation
Germans are less interested in news-related participation via social media than people in other countries. Facebook is the biggest network for news, and yet in public discussions as well as in the strategies of political parties and advertising agencies Twitter gets a lot of attention. Because these people are particularly communicative and their tweets get attention from other news media (online as well as offline), their resonance in the public arena is very high.
UH and SH