Population 81m
Internet 89%
Trust in news 60%
(3rd out of 12)
Interest in news 74%
(3rd out of 12)

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. The press market is strongest at a regional level with over 300 titles. Each of the 16 regions also regulates its own private and public broadcasting.


TV, radio, print

Digital reach

Newspapers 45%
Broadcasters 35%
Pure players 31%


Cross-platform reach

Newspapers 74%
Broadcasters 87%


Traditional (offline) reach

Newspapers 64%
Broadcasters 87%

Evening television news shows in Germany such as ARD’s Tagesschau and ZDF’s Heute continue to pull in the biggest audiences in Europe. But these PSBs continue to face restrictions to their online news services under pressure from newspaper groups.

With sales of daily newspapers and magazines continuing to fall, publishers are pursuing different strategies for the transition to online business models. Axel Springer, which publishes best-selling tabloid Bild and national daily Die Welt, is partly betting on the success of paid content to reduce the company’s dependence on advertising.

The company announced more than 250,000 paying subscribers for its premium Bild+ services in January 2015 (up from 153,000 in December 2013). Burda Media, on the other hand, which publishes influential weekly magazine Focus, continues to focus on paid e-papers and tablet editions but has doubts about the viability of paywalls. Springer has also been diversifying with recent investments in the European expansion of Business Insider and Politico and also in Blendle, a Dutch start-up where readers pay by the article.

German publishers have been at the heart of European demands that Google start paying for content. But when a new law led to news snippets being left out of search results, news publishers were forced to request readmission, after traffic from Google and Google News fell by 40% and 80%.1

Apple devices vs the rest (news usage)

Top social networks*

* Use weekly for news

Germans are less interested in news-related participation via social media than people in other countries. Facebook is still the biggest network for news while Twitter attracts media coverage but has struggled to appeal to the wider public. WhatsApp has been growing fast in Germany over the last few years and some local newspapers have been experimenting with it for distributing their stories.