According to a current analysis carried out by the Association for Information Management, Telecommunications and New Media (BITKOM) print media have lost readers in recent times while the number of readers of news portals increased considerably in the year 2007. Thus, the twenty most frequently used news portals were visited 3.8 billion times which means that these could increase their popularity by on average 19% in the second year in a row.
BITKOM is pleased with the fact that the internet has established itself as the fourth important news source besides newspapers, radio and television. Print and radio media can also be satisfied with the current development given that it is in particular the internet contents of renowned newspapers, magazines and television stations which develop successfully.
With regard to the usage of news portals Germans are in the middle field in Europe: 21% of the population between 16 and 74 years of age are online news readers which is exactly the average percentage of the enlarged EU. Leading in this respect are the Estonians and the Fins (50%). The number of visitors of news portals is smallest in Romania (9%) and Ireland (10%). However, the number of visitors has increased in almost all EU member states in recent years.
Among the most important portals there are, however, also those which concentrate on topics such as sports or computers. Furthermore there are also local portals which are so frequently visited that they are among the top 20. All these portals have one thing in common: they are freely accessible. Subscription is not required and most of the time these are financed through advertising.