Published on
July 12, 2022
Elena Ariberti

Workshop "The Italian Digital Content Consumer"

Published on
2022-07-12 00:00:00
Elena Ariberti

Results of the Survey delivered to the Italian consumer

In the "transversal" workshop of the third edition of the Digital Content Observatory of the Polytechnic of Milan, the results of the Survey of Italian consumers of digital content, jointly carried out with BVA-Doxa, were presented.

The Observatory quantifies the digital content market in four main categories:

  • Video Entertainment
  • Information and News
  • Music
  • Gaming

Research was conducted on the Italian population in the 18-60 age group to understand how consumers are approaching the world of digital content compared to past years.

From an initial analysis, it emerged that the use of streaming content through paid services has dropped slightly compared to past years, but still remains in an excellent position. We obviously owe this drop to the almost total resumption of daily life as we knew it, the pandemic has forced the population to shut themselves indoors, and it is for this reason that there has been an increase in the sale of streaming subscriptions.

Also on this topic, people were asked whether they are willing to pay a subscription to use the services without advertising, or whether the segment of the population surveyed is willing not to pay a subscription at the cost of using the streaming service with advertising attached.

The answer was as follows: most people surveyed would be willing to put up with a minimum of advertising in order not to pay a subscription.

Let us take the Netflix case.

In the first quarter of 2022, Netflix saw a loss of subscribers for the first time in 10 years.
This prompted the streaming giant to revise its plans by integrating advertising. In fact, cheaper subscriptions will be included, but with the addition of advertising.
Announcing the news was Microsoft, which will take over the sales of advertising space on the platform.


Smart TVs and Smart Speakers.

Over the past year, we have seen the exponential growth of smart TVs giving access to online services.
55% of people surveyed own a smart TV accessing online services while only 14% do not use this service.

But what applications do the majority use?

In the last month, the following data was collected, here is a top five of the applications used:

  1. Watching content on Youtube, Netflix, RaiPlay/ On-demand catalogue
  2. Listening to music/playlists/single tracks
  3. Search for content from a tablet/smartphone and play it on a Smart Tv
  4. Listen to the radio
  5. Browsing a website/ Doing a search on a search engine.

Smart speakers also had their own increase in recent years, from 9% in 2019 to 25% in 2022, less than smart TV.

Respondents were asked what actions they performed with the smart speaker at least once, here are some answers:

  • Listening to music with a music service
  • Inquiring about the weather
  • Asking something/asking a question
  • Listening to the radio
  • Listening to news/updates/sports
  • Looking for a recipe

Online information in leisure time.

As far as the use of online content in leisure time is concerned, we can see that in the field of news (excluding weather and traffic) or magazines and journals, we have a greater increase compared to 2020 but less than in 2021, devoting an average of 3, 3 hours per week to the online use of information and news.

But let us take a moment to look at the change in time spent on online activities over the past year:

Most of the people surveyed stated in fact, that the time they devote to online information activities has not changed, while a good 22% claim to have increased their time in information. With this data in hand, we can have a prediction of how time will vary in the coming year, estimating a good result in terms of relationship retention.

The use of this content is mostly influenced by physical word-of-mouth and digital word-of-mouth through shares, comments , and reactions, but let's not forget the importance of online and offline advertising and promotions.

But is the consumer ready to pay for the online enjoyment of magazines and journals?

The majority do not make use of this mode as opposed to a large proportion who either make use online but do not pay, or conversely make use online but do pay. The latter we can divide into 3 groups of importance in order to know how one spends for the enjoyment of online content:

  1. Consumers who only enjoy content when buying individual content
  2. Consumers who enjoy content only through subscriptions
  3. Both.

The same order of importance in the answers can be given to those who do not enjoy paid content:

  1. Consumers who categorically exclude it
  2. Consumers who are well inclined but nice medium to long term (more than six months)
  3. Consumers who are well predisposed in the short term (within the next three months).


At this point in time, most generations are already using these digital online services, but within the next 12 months it has emerged that there could be an increase.


GMDE partner of the Observatory

GMDE has been invited to take part in the first edition of the Digital Content Observatory given its many years of experience working alongside publishers.

Especially in the Information and News category, GMDE is able to make its contribution to the research by knowing how editorial content has evolved with the advent of digital. Managing contributors and the resulting rights to use their content, platforms for sharing and selling content, paywalls and reader engagement are just some of the topics GMDE has put on the research analysis table.




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