Global Media Intelligence 2019: Portugal

Key Features

Most of Portugal’s internet users own several digital devices, but traditional media formats are still prominent.

  • Portugal was badly hit by the 2008-2009 global economic crisis, and it has taken some time to recover. But the national economy is now stable and growing. This has meant more investment in communications infrastructure, which has enabled more people to afford digital devices and services. As a result, ownership of desktops/laptops in H1 2019 was close to the Western European average, reaching 84.7% of internet users. Additionally, more than half of internet users owned a tablet, and 96.1% owned a smartphone, according to GlobalWebIndex.
  • Though smartphones were more widespread, internet users spent an average of 2 hours, 54 minutes (2:54) per day with mobile phones in H1 2019; PCs and tablets accounted for an hour more, at 3:54 per day.
  • Nearly 93% of the internet users polled in Portugal had watched live TV in the prior month—a sign that some nondigital media habits are still nearly universal. Just over 86% had listened to broadcast radio each day as well. And both activities occupied considerable chunks of time daily, with averages of 2:06 for broadcast TV and 1:27 for radio.
  • However, several traditional media behaviors are increasingly shifting toward the top end of the age spectrum. Radio offers a clear example: Nine in 10 internet users ages 55 to 64 had listened to live radio within the prior month in Q1 2019, compared with 78.3% of those ages 16 to 24.
  • Print press is another case in point. In Q1 2018, print newspapers and magazines both reached about 64% of Portugal’s internet users. Those figures dropped to 61.7% and 58.2%, respectively, in Q1 2019. The share of seniors ages 55 to 64 who read newspapers was twice as great as in the 16-to-24 age bracket, at 80.5% vs. 39.4%. Interestingly, though, the time spent with print press was still greater than time reading press titles online. This is unusual in Western Europe this year.
  • Some video viewing habits are also shifting slowly. While almost every internet user had watched live TV in H1 2019, only 44.2% had watched TV shows via a broadcaster’s catch-up service in the prior month—an option used by 63.2% in France and 68.7% in Spain, for example. In Portugal, it was much more common to have recorded a show at the time of broadcast and watched it later (68.7%). The share using this relatively older method of time-shifted TV had risen year over year from 61.9%.
  • In keeping with a relatively undeveloped digital video landscape, fewer than 60% of internet users said they had streamed video content in the prior month, and the average time spent per day with online TV and video was 39 minutes. Predictably, engagement was higher in the youngest age bracket.
  • Usage of digital audio content was even more limited, at 54.4% of internet users. But here too, younger respondents were much more likely to stream music; an above-average share of respondents living in the most affluent households had also streamed music in the prior month.
  • Exploring the use of paid-for video content—specifically, the subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) offerings of Netflix and other players—GlobalWebIndex found that 44.5% had watched SVOD in the month prior to the survey. Youth and affluence were the key indicators for those who viewed SVOD.


Karin von Abrams