NMHH survey: declining rate of traditional media compared to the Internet among consumers

23 July 2020

Half of Internet users no longer stay informed from television, radio or the print media, according to a market survey conducted by the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) between November and December 2019. The Internet is gaining ground in news consumption and entertainment in all age groups, but this trend is the most spectacular in Generation Z.

In parallel with the spread of Internet use in Hungary, traditional media and telecommunications, i.e. television, radio, print media and telephony, find themselves in an increasingly more difficult situation. At the end of 2019, Hungary already had more than 6.5 million Internet users (in the 15+ population) who browsed the world wide web at least once a week. For example, half of Internet users rarely, if at all, rely on traditional electronic and print media to stay informed. And when it comes to entertainment and movies, the Internet has a similar lead: 46 percent watch little or no television and rather spend their free time online. Traditional telephony more or less seems to be able to keep up with Internet use: only one-third of respondents said they contact others mostly or exclusively over the Internet (if the other party also has an Internet connection).

The Internet also has a huge appeal to the elderly

The loss of ground of the traditional media and telecommunications in relation to the Internet is mainly due to the fact that more people are now using the Internet more confidently, so demographic characteristics show little correlation here. Only in the case of entertainment and pastime does the age of the respondents appear as the most decisive factor, in addition to the time spent on the Internet and Internet skills.

Television, and also radio, is losing ground to the Internet much faster among the under twenty population. Seven out of ten teenagers stay informed using the world wide web instead of traditional TV stations, radios and newspapers, with only one in thirteen saying they watch more television than they are online, and eight out of ten watch movies, videos or series on the Internet. Two-thirds of those under the age of thirty, and half of those in their thirties, said they mostly or exclusively use the Internet instead of watching television. The massive appeal of the Internet is quite visible in the sixties and seventies age groups as well: 70 percent of Internet users in their sixties and 68 percent of those over the age of seventy say they use the Internet as much or even more than they watch television.

Watching movies and listening to music

The NMHH’s research also reveals that 15 percent of video-watching Internet users have completely abandoned traditional television viewing, and another 26 percent of them watch less TV, while 22 percent of those who listen to music and podcasts online have already given up listening to classic radio stations. Here again, the paradigm shift is the most striking among those under the age of thirty: there are twice as many people in Generations Y and Z who no longer watch television (28 and 30 percent), and one and a half to two times more who no longer listen to the radio (28 and 38 percent) than those who still consume traditional media content.

Background of the research

For years, the NMHH has been conducting comprehensive national surveys in the telecommunications and media sector, the key findings and summaries of which are continuously published on its website. The surveys are conducted to provide the Authority with a better insight into user habits and opinions and to enable the NMHH to provide reliable estimates of expected changes over time and of predictable market trends.

The latest survey was conducted between 18 November and 10 December 2019 via self-completed online questionnaires with a sample of five thousand participants. The population of the sample consists of internet users living in Hungary over 16 years of age who use the internet at least once a week. The representativity of the sample is based on a nationally representative personal survey of 3,200 people, while the possible distortions of the final sample were corrected by researchers with a mathematical-statistical process of weighting. The online survey and the personal survey it was based on were prepared by Ariosz Kft. for the NMHH.

Competition between the Internet and traditional media and telecommunications among Internet users

What is your source of information?

Bar chart: What is your source of information? Data are provided in the table below.

What is your source of information?
Tradiotional pressInternetBoth
17% 49% 34%

What do you watch?

Bar chart: What do you watch? Data are provided in the table below.

What do you watch?
Traditional televisionInternetBoth
19% 46% 36%

How do you communicate


How do you communicate?
Traditional telephoneInternetBoth
33% 33% 34%

What do Internet users watch more by age group?

Bar chart: What do Internet users watch more by age group? Data are provided in the table below.

What do Internet users watch more by age group? (%)
Age groupTraditional televisionInternetBoth
16-29 éves 8% 68% 24%
30-39 éves 14% 53% 33%
40-49 éves 21% 37% 42%
50-59 éves 25% 33% 42%
60-69 éves 30% 30% 40%
70+ 32% 27% 41%