In this comparatively wealthy country, most internet users can afford digital devices and services. But many older residents are in no hurry to abandon traditional media.
Nearly 95% of internet users ages 16 to 64 polled by GlobalWebIndex owned a smartphone in H1 2019; among the affluent, that share was effectively 100%. Just 5.4% of respondents owned a feature phone—though the percentage was double that (11.1%) in the oldest age group (55 to 64). Females were more likely to own a smartphone, while males were twice as likely as females to have a feature phone.
Tablet penetration among internet users ages 16 to 64 was already above 54% in Switzerland in H1 2018 and reached 56.5% in 2019. Like smartphones, tablets were more common in higher-income households.
Some 87.8% of internet users owned a desktop or laptop PC in H1 2019—one of the highest figures recorded in Western Europe. Yet affluent respondents were less likely to own a PC than those living in lower-income households.
In H1 2018, all traditional media enjoyed solid penetration in all age groups in Switzerland. This year, there’s growing evidence that some internet users, especially younger ones, are turning away from broadcast radio and print press. Over 63% of 16-to-24-year-olds had listened to live radio in the month before polling, and 69.3% had read a print newspaper, per GlobalWebIndex. But usage of both media was nearly 20 percentage points higher among individuals ages 45 to 54, for example.
Adoption of subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services such as Netflix is lower in Switzerland than might be expected, at 47.3% of respondents. That’s chiefly the result of minimal penetration among internet users age 45 and older. About 35% of those ages 45 to 54 had watched SVOD in the prior month, and among those ages 55 to 64, that share dropped to 13.5%. By contrast, 76.0% of web users ages 16 to 24 had viewed SVOD content.
Older internet users were also the least engaged with video streaming and the least likely to have watched TV programming via broadcasters’ catch-up services. But they were most likely to have watched live TV in the prior month.