The Internet in 2019
Between overconsumption and discerning use
With 92% of homes connected in France and 53.1 million monthly internet users, the internet has reached a certain level of maturity. In 2019, this market flaunted a compelling growth. Connection frequency is growing and smartphones are playing an essential role in surfing the web. In 2019, internet users went online 22 days of the month on average, which is four times more than 10 years ago. This was done mainly through their smartphone. Bertrand Krug, Director of Médiamétrie’s Internet Department said: “Mobiles have become a must-have when we talk about the internet - they are key to its growth. 37.4 million French people are daily mobile internet users, which is 7 million more than two years ago, and four out of 10 mobile internet users use their mobile phone exclusively to surf the net.”
The internet: powerful and dynamic
On average, French people spend 2 hours and 12 minutes online each day. But this number hides large disparities: the 15% (7.6 million people) who connect the most often are online nearly 7 hours per day (6 hours and 53 minutes), whereas 25.4 million French people who are more moderate, spend, on average, 1 hour and 10 minutes online.
Internet users spend their time online on research, communication, fun and services. Bertrand Krug continues: “There is an increasing number of stakeholders in all these fields, who are attracting increasingly powerful brands. This is how, in 2019, 77 brands had over 10 million unique visitors compared to only 17 brands 10 years ago.”
Social networks, messaging services and video at the heart of internet use
Social interaction is an important part of internet users’ lives, making it one of the main uses on the internet. Six out of 10 French people connect each day to social networks and messaging services. Facebook, Snapchat and Messenger top the list. Young people are the main audiences of these services, but each age range has its preferred network. Thus, 11 to 20-year-olds are mostly on Snapchat and Instagram, whereas Facebook attracts mostly people aged 25 to 34 years.
Video also has a leading place in online practices. It attracts four out of 10 French people each day on average. Again, we see young people top the list, as 38% of videos are watched by people aged 15 to 24 years. Video brings together a wide variety of stakeholders: audio-visual groups, pure players, SVoD services, and more recently, platforms like Twitch. They all reinvent the genre by creating event-driven content and creating spaces for users to gather.
Surfing for information
News and information are also at the heart of activities of internet users. In 2019, 44.6 million unique visitors visited news websites and apps each day, on average, which is 3.4 million more within one year. They also spent 22% more time than in 2018.
Young people, more particularly, those aged 15 to 24 years, are particularly keen on online news: 80.6% of them visit news websites or apps each day, compared to 71.1% of the population as whole. In order to attract and retain this audience, information stakeholders readily provide videos and social network tools to share their content.
From reckless to eco-friendly consumption
In 2019, 40 million online shoppers trusted powerful online retailers such as Amazon, Cdiscount and Fnac. But new websites offering products at lower prices, such as Wish, AliExpress and Joom, are gaining traction with internet users looking for a good deal.
Finally, in line with increasingly important social questions, internet users sometimes choose new options: renting instead of buying, buying second-hand instead of new, checking the composition of products before purchasing, etc.
Thus, each month 10% of French people visit barcode-scanning websites and apps, helping them to be healthier and more ethical consumers.
More aware consumers are also more eco-friendly: 1 in 10 French people visit anti-waste sites and apps, which represents an additional 3 million fans in one year. Second-hand markets are also growing in tech and fashion in France. 27% of French people now sometimes choose second-hand clothing or clothing rentals.
“2019 confirms what we have been observing in our measurements for a while: a certain dichotomy, a paradox almost, in internet consumption. It is sometimes reckless, but at the same time, more reasonable,” concludes Bertrand Krug.
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