Netflix, TikTok gain ground in Switzerland

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The coronavirus pandemic is pushing more and more Swiss people to shop online and use streaming services and social networks such as Netflix and TikTok, according to a study published on Monday. Television and radio retain their popularity.

This content was published on August 30, 2021 minutes

Coronavirus "is driving digitisation in Switzerland," according to the annual Digimonitor study produced by the Electronic Media Interest Group (IGEM). The survey conducted in 2021 confirms the trends seen last year.

Online banking, online shopping and streaming services are seeing "significant increases" in users, as are some social networks. TikTok, Instagram and LinkedIn have each gained 200,000 to 300,000 users and Netflix 500,000.

Young people love TikTok 

Facebook has three million users in Switzerland but is losing ground among young people, who are increasingly turning to TikTok, a short-form video app. TikTok has 310,000 users in the 15 to 24 age range compared with 260,000 for Facebook.

With 500,000 new subscribers, Netflix now has 2.8 million users in Switzerland, or 42% of the population, against 4.6 million for YouTube. Play Suisse has 690,000 users, Disney+ 650,000, Apple TV+ 320,000 and Amazon Prime 300,000.

The music streaming service Spotify has 2.2 million users, 200,000 more than a year ago, of whom 1.4 million are paying users. People aged 15 to 24 prefer the paid version without advertising.

Television and radio dominate

These streaming services are, however, still "far behind" television and radio, according to the study. Television boasts 6.3 million viewers and radio 6.1 million listeners. Two out of three people turn on their television every day. Almost one third of people aged 15 to 24 watch it every day.

Radio also remains very popular. Of the 6.1 million listeners, 4.1 million listen to it every day. More than 80% of people under the age of 25 also tune in, more than a third daily.

Podcasts enjoy a high degree of popularity, especially with young people and people with "high levels of education".

In messaging services, WhatsApp remains the leader with 5.6 million users, but it faces strong competition. Telegram (940,000 users) and Threema (710,000) each have 400,000 to 500,000 new users. The Swiss messaging service Threema is mainly used in German-speaking Switzerland.

Payment and video conferencing

Other winners of the pandemic-driven digitisation wave are the payment app Twint and the videoconferencing tools Zoom and Microsoft Teams, with more than one million new users each. Twint has 2.8 million users, Zoom 2.6 million and Microsoft Teams 2.5 million. In payment apps, Twint is the market leader, ahead of Apple Pay (390,000 users) and Google Pay (215,000).

The number of mobile electronic banking users has doubled since 2019. About 2.8 million people now bank at least occasionally via mobile phone. Smartphone e-banking is more widespread in French-speaking Switzerland (47%) than in German- and Italian-speaking Switzerland (41%).

The Digimonitor study has been surveying the use of electronic media and devices in Switzerland every year since 2014.

The telephone and online survey was conducted between the beginning of April and the end of May among 1,980 people over 15 years of age (1,016 in German-speaking Switzerland, 762 in French-speaking Switzerland and 202 in Italian-speaking Switzerland).

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