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The Internet Will Top TV in Germany for First Time in 2017

  • Time spent by adults online is increasing, EMarketer says
  • Researcher cites shift in viewing as content moves to the web

Adults in Germany will spend more time online than watching TV for the first time next year as more content migrates to streaming platforms, according to research firm EMarketer Inc.

People 18 years or older will spend an average of 3 hours and 44 minutes a day online on desktop or laptop PCs, or on mobile devices without making calls -- six minutes more than they’re forecast to spend watching TV, EMarketer said, citing its study.

“Recent years have seen internet penetration climb even among Germany’s older residents,” said Karin von Abrams, an analyst at the researcher, which is owned by Axel Springer SE. While TV watching will remain strong, “we’re already seeing a shift in viewing patterns, as more TV content migrates to digital platforms. So a steady increase in time spent with digital is definitely in the cards.”

The shift is affecting established media companies including ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE and Bertelsmann SE’s RTL Group SA, which are expanding digital offerings as they fight other broadcasters and internet-based rivals Netflix Inc. and Inc. for viewers.

In another first for the country, this year adults in Germany will spend more time on the internet on mobile devices than through computers, EMarketer said. The same happened in the U.K. this year, according to the researcher.

Germany has 63.6 million internet users, the most in western Europe, according to EMarketer. That number has been rising in recent years as more elderly go online, the researcher said.

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