The Internet is integral to keeping families together in the Christmas period, just like at other times. It connects us with friends and loved ones who are far away, and offers increasingly popular options for the typical year-end pastimes of watching movies, TV series and other programmes. Even though live television still prevails at Christmas, six out of ten respondents also consume video content online, according to fresh research by eNET – Telekom in the series titled “Report on the Internet Economy”. This time, the focus is on Internet usage in the Christmas period.
The Internet connects us with our far-away loved ones
When it comes to sending best wishes and festive messages, mobile phones and the Internet have by now surpassed both land-line phones (22%) and conventional Christmas cards and letters (26%). Instead of these, more than half of all respondents make mobile calls or send text messages. Online options are also very popular: e-mails, chat messages and social media are used by 44%, 42% and 31% respectively, while one in five respondents choose online phone calls.
For keeping in touch with relatives and friends who do not live with us or are not currently with us, mobile phone calls are preferred in the Christmas season as well, chosen by seven out of ten respondents. Chat messages are now the second most popular communication method (42%), and only three out of ten respondents send text or email messages. Landline phone calls, in line with general tendencies, are losing ground (25%) and are gradually replaced by online call options (used by 21%).
However, 42% of those who do call their friends and loved ones by phone at Christmas have a relative or acquaintance (usually a distant family member, a friend, a parent, a grandparent or great-grandparent) who still insists on using landline, so the rest of the family accomodates their wishes – either because they do not have any other means of communication, or because they are used to and prefer conventional telephones, or because they want to save money.
Unsurprisingly, the prevalence of using landline or e-mail for keeping in touch increases with age, and the connection is reversed when it comes to chat messages. However, there is no significant difference by age with regard to sending text messages, making Internet phone calls, and using social media for the same purpose in the Christmas period: the proportion of respondents embracing these methods is nearly the same in the young, the middle-aged and the senior age groups.
Christmas time is movie time!
In the families of Internet users, watching movies, TV series and other television programmes are considered typical Christmas pastimes (54%), apart from traditional Christmas activities such as getting each other presents, preparation and consumption of seasonal dishes and drinks, decorating a Christmas tree and visiting or entertaining relatives. Of this group, 40% consume more such content at the end of the year than at other times.
Although most respondents (95%) usually watch films, series and TV programmes together with their family, 53% of them also consume video content separately – sometimes with their loved ones around.
For watching films, series and programmes, conventional TVs are still the most prevalent devices (60%), with smart TVs (37%), laptops (34%) and desktop computers (27%) catching up, and smartphones (12%) and tablets (10%) getting a small share, too.
With respect to the types of contents, live TV programmes predominate; 80% watch these regularly. As one in two viewers choose what to watch by channel surfing rather than checking the TV guide in advance, we can conclude that it’s not really the content that matters – it’s how it can be fitted into the family’s schedule. DVD/Blu-Ray disks are used by 25% of the respondents, and 20% watch recorded TV shows. Online options are popular around Christmas as well: six out of ten viewers consume movie content on the Internet in some form. Within this group, films and series available online or downloaded from file sharing sites free of charge are watched by one-third each, and eleven per cent watch previously broadcast TV programs on the Internet. 7% subscribe to streaming services, and another 7% rent movies or TV series online.
Always together – online
The Internet not only allows us to keep in touch with friends and family members who aren’t currently with us, but also with loved ones who live abroad – sharing with them the festive spirit in words, writing, images, and even videos. And apart from all that, it gives us a perfect occasion to relax among loved ones with a movie, after a tiring round of endless meals and family visits.
eNET – Telekom