DigitalizationMajority of Germans use smart devices for personal health and entertainment

The digital association Bitkom published its comprehensive trend study ‘Future of Consumer Technology 2021’ today. According to the results, 'smart' consumer technologies are extremely popular among German consumers: 28 percent of Germans own a smartwatch and 35 percent use health apps on their tablets, smartphones, smartwatches or fitness trackers. Modern entertainment technologies are equally common: 70 percent stream movies and series on Netflix, Joyn and Prime or watch videos on YouTube, Vimeo and other social media.

For this study, Bitkom Research on behalf of the digital association Bitkom conducted telephone interviews in May 2021 with a total of 1,176 people in Germany aged 16 and above about their use of consumer and entertainment technologies. The survey was supported by Samsung and Joyn.

These are further insights on the topic of personal health:

  • 28 percent of all German consumers said they own a smartwatch. They use them for incoming messages (90 percent), as an alarm clock, timer or stopwatch (55 percent), for navigation (54 percent), to control their smartphone (47 percent) or their smart home (30 percent).
  • The current trend ‘Quantify yourself’ describes the recording of personal health and vital data using tablets, smartphones, smartwatches or fitness trackers. In this regard, consumers indicated to use their smart devices to record pulse, blood pressure or oxygen saturation (33 percent), record their workouts (31 percent), participate in online fitness programs (26 percent), monitor their heart rate (16 percent), control their diet (11 percent) as well as to measure their sleep quality and stress levels (8 percent each).
  • While users saw these fitness and health apps as a great relief (63 percent) and motivation (47 percent), 49 percent agreed with the statement that they felt pressured by their programs, while 31 percent felt relief and pressure at the same time.

More on video streaming:

  • 70 percent of respondents said they regularly used video streaming – either several times a day (15 percent), once a day (25 percent), several times a week (38 percent) or less frequently than weekly (13 percent).
  • Overall, 38 percent of respondents streamed via a paid subscription, and 29 percent shared a paid service together with others without paying for it themselves. Around half of subscribers shared streaming services as well as costs with somebody else.
  • Users either paid for one (22 percent) or two streaming services (32 percent) or subscribed to three or more paid services (29 percent).
  • In exchange for a free service, 67 percent would be willing to trade their usage behavior data and 55 percent would do so for a better user experience. 33 percent would also share their socio-demographic data such as place of residence or occupation in return for a free offer.

Achim Berg, Bitkom President, commented: "Consumer technology devices have gained additional importance during the pandemic. Smart consumer technology opens up the opportunity to get to know yourself better, notice unhealthy behaviors earlier, motivate yourself and do more for your own health. Corona has given video streaming a huge boost. This effect is here to stay. Streaming has become the dominant way to watch video and everything that used to be called a movie or a TV show. Users are increasingly willing to spend money on this. We are currently experiencing the end of the free culture on the Internet."

Source: Bitkom

More information and the study