Video dominates media preferences in Belgian households

Sarhan Basem
credit: brusselstimes

Brussels (Brussels Morning) – Televisions and smartphones dominate media consumption in Belgian homes, with video being the most preferred media format, according to a Centre for Media Information (CIM) survey.

How Do Belgians Consume Media in Their Homes?

In Belgian homes, televisions and smartphones remain the most dominant devices for media consumption, with video being the best type of media format. In the latest analysis by the Centre for Media Information (CIM), around 6,000 people were surveyed between April 2023 and March 2024. 

What Are the Top Devices for Media Consumption in Belgium?

Researchers discovered that Belgians’ top three devices utilised for media consumption are the television (95.2 per cent), smartphones (90.6 per cent), and laptops (78.5 per cent). Car radios (73.3 per cent) and radios (63.4 per cent) followed closely.

Which Media Types Are Most Popular in Belgium?

Concerning media types, video remains the favoured medium, with 97% of respondents saying having consumed media in video form in the past 30 days, compared to 93 per cent for the internet and 85 per cent for audio.

About 75% of those surveyed still favour live television, despite a 5% decrease year-on-year. Videos consumed on venues like YouTube came second, employed by over half of respondents. Scheduled television programmes, films and series through streaming services, and social media videos close off the top five.

How Do Age Groups Differ in Media Preferences?

However, these developments mask a pronounced generational gap. Traditional television is only the preferred video medium for those aged 35 and older. Those aged between 12 and 24 are more prone to use streaming services, social media videos, or video platforms.

In this respect, Netflix monopolises the market at 42.5%. In French-speaking Belgium, television channel sites and applications have minor success: Auvio is operated by 28% of respondents, far onwards of RTL Play, with 19%. Almost half of Belgians attend live FM radio, a decline from last year. This decline is somewhat offset by live DAB radio, utilised by 26% of respondents. As with video, 12-24-year-olds cultivate more towards streaming services, and music through video platforms, podcasts or radio on demand.

In terms of audio streaming, about one in five Belgians claim to spend for a subscription, with Spotify (25.9 per cent) leading the way, followed by YouTube (7.2 per cent) and Apple Music (2.3 per cent). Podcasts are heard by one in ten Belgians, notably those aged between 20 and 30. The internet is mostly used for communication, with eight in ten Belgians utilising it for emails or messaging. Information inquiries, social media, website browsing and online banking follow, with over two-thirds of respondents participating.

How Is the Digital Divide Changing Among Belgian Seniors?

The digital divide with seniors persists to narrow, especially in terms of using the internet to watch videos, listen to audio, examine and access information. However, over a quarter of those over 65 (27 per cent) still do not utilise the internet at all. This distinction is also evident in social media use: only 36 per cent of seniors use it versus a standard of 70% nationwide.

What Are the Leading Social Media Platforms in Belgium?

Among the most widespread platforms in Belgium, Facebook is the predominant leader, used by two-thirds of Belgians. It is followed by Instagram, and then TikTok, which now gets about one-quarter of Belgians. Trailing behind, X is used by 11.5% of respondents.

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Sarhan Basem is Brussels Morning's Senior Correspondent to the European Parliament. With a Bachelor's degree in English Literature, Sarhan brings a unique blend of linguistic finesse and analytical prowess to his reporting. Specializing in foreign affairs, human rights, civil liberties, and security issues, he delves deep into the intricacies of global politics to provide insightful commentary and in-depth coverage. Beyond the world of journalism, Sarhan is an avid traveler, exploring new cultures and cuisines, and enjoys unwinding with a good book or indulging in outdoor adventures whenever possible.