Entertainment, hobbies, travel, music and culture – all these topics are already characterized by digitization and networking today. Already for 72 percent of the German Internet users surveyed, life would be unimaginable without digital media as far as the organization of leisure activities is concerned. Nevertheless, both experts and consumers agree that life in the area of leisure and well-being is set to become even more networked in future. A total of 93 percent of the experts and 59 percent of the consumers surveyed in Germany expect leisure activities to become increasingly digitized and networked. But which services and applications are of specific interest to Internet users? And which aspects have to be fulfilled so that the relevant services are actually used by consumers?
Leisure and well-being: the importance of the Internet and telecommunications
Today, already 72 percent of the German Internet population surveyed – and 93 percent of the digital avant-garde – can no longer imagine organizing their leisure activities without the Internet and telecommunications. German users already attach more importance to the Internet and mobile telephony in organizing their leisure activities than Internet users in most other countries (see Figure 23). Only the French (78%) would find it harder than the Germans to do without cell phones and the Internet. The digital media are just as important to South Koreans as to Germans – where again 72 percent of Internet users cannot imagine organizing their leisure activities without the Internet and telecommunications.
The high importance of the digital media in the area of leisure and well-being is not only attributable to activities in cyberspace. On the contrary, the online and offline worlds are closely interwoven. 72 percent of German Internet users use the Internet to prepare for “offline” activities. The consumer survey shows that this aspect of Internet use is of high importance even to the digital latecomers consumer group, for whom the use of digital media is not yet a natural everyday activity: 59 percent of latecomers fully agree or agree with the statement that they frequently prepare offline activities online.
Leisure and well-being: which services interest consumers
Leisure, Internet and telecommunications are therefore closely interlinked. But what is the actual benefit to consumers? Which APPLICATIONS AND SERVICES do Internet users find interesting? The experts surveyed assume that for consumers, location-based services in particular – e.g. pedestrian sat-nav systems, information on the surrounding area via cell phone or buddy lists with friends in the neighborhood – and online music are useful. Equally high in favor with consumers are online TV, online video, and photo sharing. The responses from the consumers themselves reveal in particular a high interest in online music. Also popular among consumers are online TV, online videos and photo sharing (see Figure 24).
Half of the German Internet population are interested in services which allow them to listen to music and the radio via the Internet, search for music or buy and download songs. Audiovisual services are almost as popular: the delivery of TV content via the Internet to a TV set is appealing to 45 percent of the consumers surveyed, while access at any time to video content via the Internet, e.g. via video-on-demand platforms, is of interest to 43 percent of consumers. 42 percent of German Internet users are interested in uploading photos to the Internet and sharing them in online photo albums or on platforms with friends.
The country comparison demonstrates that the interests of consumers in the countries surveyed are basically similar – at least as far as the order of interest is concerned. It is striking, however, that South Korean Internet users are much more receptive to most services than German Internet users (see Figures 25 and 26).
In each case, 63 percent of South Koreans surveyed regard online TV and photo sharing as interesting, while for 56 percent, access to video content via the Internet at any time is appealing. Online games are also very popular in South Korea: whereas online games with several players – such as role play games – do not yet represent a mass phenomenon in Germany, half of the South Korean surveyed were already interested in this. Future developments in Germany can be forecast by casting a glance at the digital avant-garde, among whom 72 percent are already interested in online video, 71 percent in online TV and 66 percent in uploading and sharing photos.
The consumer survey did not only focus on the services of interest to Internet users. It also examined how important it will be in the future to be able to use such services at any time and anywhere. The study shows that many German Internet users would like to see this now: 38 percent regard it as crucial or very important to be able to utilize leisure and well-being services from a cell phone with Internet access. It is to be expected that this need for mobility will increase even further in future: Already 52 percent in France and as many as 62 percent in South Korea regard mobile access as crucial, not to mention the digital avant-garde, of whom as many as 72 percent attach importance to mobile access (see Figure 27).
The consumers surveyed also regard data security, a reputable provider and a fair price as important. Another factor is intuitively easy use, which for almost one-third of German Internet users is a prerequisite for them to choose the relevant service. In addition, about one in five of those surveyed pays attention to whether most of their friends and acquaintances use the same service.