German television is broadcasted by both public and commercial enterprises. The public broadcasts are divided by state, with each state having its own broadcasting organization. In some cases, multiple states sign agreements to create conglomerate organizations. The German television market is one of the largest in Europe – over 95% of German households have at least one television. All of Germany’s most popular channels are free-to-air and funded by either advertising or public subsidies, making paid-subscription television much less popular in Germany. The three biggest channels in Germany combine for a share of almost 25% of all viewership. They are owned by ZDF (Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen), ARD (Arbeitsgemeinschaft der öffentlich-rechtlichen Rundfunkanstalten der Bundesrepublik Deutschland), and RTL Group (Radio Television Luxemburg).
Although German newspaper circulation is on the decline, a recent study showed that across the entire country, print news achieved a circulation of 20.2 million readers. The majority of this number is comprised of “subscription press” as opposed to “tabloid press”. The most popular daily subscription papers in Germany are the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Die Welt, and Der Spiegel. A weekly subscription paper, Die Zeit, achieves a circulation higher than any of those three, at over 500,000 readers. The most popular news agency by far is Deutsche Presseagentur (DPA). Almost all German Newspapers are DPA subscribers.
Radio is quite popular in Germany, as a recent study showed that 92% of the German population listens to radio, and that Germans aged 10 and over spend more than three hours per weekday listening to radio. There are more than 500 radio stations in Germany. They operate on licenses granted to them by the states in which they broadcast. There are three national public radio stations, two of which are available on FM and AM waves: Deutschlandfunk, which is a news broadcast focused on current events, and Deutschlandradio Kultur, which is a cultural broadcast ranging from music to the arts. DRadio Wissen is a digital broadcast that focuses on stories on science and technology. Besides these, the most popular radio stations are ones that are licensed in multiple states, like Klassik Radio and NRJ.
A recent survey showed that more than 70% of Germans regularly access the internet, and internet is the fastest growing source of media and the most popular with young people – 97% of Germans between 14-19 years of age use the internet regularly. About 50% of both age brackets report using the internet to access news media. All the major print news services have an online presence, with the most successful of these online enterprises being Der Spiegel’s.
Out of Home Media
The most ubiquitous out-of-home media provider in Germany is the Stroër Media Group. They provide 230,000 advertising spaces across the country, specializing in poster and billboard media.
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