New portals on the internet are very popular and their visitors´ number hit a new record high in the first quarter 2008: the twenty most popular news portals were visited in total 1.2 billion times over this period. This corresponds to an increase by 33% in comparison with last year. The afore-mentioned figures are from a study published by the German Association for Information Management, Telecommunications and New Media (BITKOM).
According to BITKOM, these enormous growth rates are a proof of the fact that the media market is changing drastically. Furthermore, the potential of online media is still much higher.
Not only do daily economic and traditional news make up the contents of the 20 top sites, but also other topics such as computers or sports. Also in this top group are sites belonging to very popular regional newspapers having many readers. All these portals can be freely accessed and are mainly financed through advertising.
By European standards Germans are average with regard to their use of online portals. According to Eurostat, the EU average percentage of citizens using news portals is 21% which is exactly the amount of Germans aged between 16 and 74 years making use of online portals in the year 2007. Front runners are Estonians and Fins (50% of them read news on the internet). In Romania and Ireland the percentages of people using news portals are lowest (9% and 10% respectively). However, the number of visitors of such portals has increased in almost all EU member states over the past years.