IGEM and Wemf determine typology of Swiss media use

Based on the representative Digimonitor study, the electronic media interest group IGEM and WEMF AG für Werbemedienforschung have identified a media usage typology with five types of digital media usage in Switzerland.

Type 1: Analog

The analogs, with 1.83 million people (27%), represent the largest population group. Analogs are the oldest type, with an average age of 69. Analogs use linear TV and radio and teletext the most of all types, but are the least well equipped in terms of devices. Thirty percent of this group are offliners, and one in three analogs do not have a smartphone. The analogs use social media, messenger and streaming the least.

Type 2: Classic

With 1.76 million people (26%), Classics represent the second-largest group. Their average age of 49 is very close to the population average of 48. Classics are the most likely mainstreamers in terms of usage. They make above-average use of linear TV and radio, as well as mobile payments. They also have a high affinity for Facebook and gaming.

Type 3: Always-on

1.1 million people (17%) belong to the always-on group, which is the youngest group with an average age of 26. Always-on use online in all facets. They are the biggest users of gaming, various social media platforms, video and music streaming, and tend to use mobile media. Radio and TV are used more often than average by this group on the move, and streaming is most frequently done on the move - on a laptop or smartphone.

Type 4: Tech-savvy

With 0.8 million people (13%), the tech-savvy are the smallest group and also the one with the lowest proportion of women. At an average age of 43, they are slightly younger than the population average of 48. Tech-savvy individuals are very well equipped with technical devices, have a high affinity for Apple products and most frequently use a tablet or smartwatch. They use TV and radio more often than average, and prefer time-shifted TV. Those with an affinity for technology use e-banking and cashless payments with their cell phones most frequently. They have the largest user base of business platforms, often use video conferencing tools, stream a lot of music or videos and listen to podcasts.

Type 5: Selective

1.1 million people (17%) belong to the selectives. At an average age of 44, they are slightly younger than the population average of 48. Selectives use TV and radio with below-average frequency and use media specifically with a functional focus. In comparison, they communicate most frequently via Threema or alternative messenger services and use their smartphone more frequently than average for e-banking and cashless payments. In the audio area, they prefer to listen to podcasts.

Major differences between media usage types

According to the survey, there are particularly strong differences in the social media usage of the types. Facebook is particularly popular with the classic media usage type. Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Twitter and TikTok are in front among the always-on. LinkedIn is used more often than average by the tech-savvy and selective. But there are also striking differences in the use of gaming, TV, radio, video and music streaming, podcasts, e-banking, electronic gadgets, messengers and video conferencing tools.


The Media usage types were formed using factor and cluster analyses. All the results on media and device use from the Digimonitor study were used as type-forming characteristics - excluding demographics and interests. The five types thus reflect as much of the variance in the use of electronic media and devices as possible.

The Digimonitor study has surveyed the use of electronic media and devices in Switzerland every year since 2014. The data is representative of the Swiss resident population aged 15 and over (6.7 million people), because offliners and people without a fixed network connection are also surveyed. On behalf of the Interessengemeinschaft elektronische Medien (IGEM) and WEMF, the Link Institute surveyed a total of 1,980 people in April and May 2021, of whom 1,016 were in German-speaking Switzerland, 762 in French-speaking Switzerland and 202 in Italian-speaking Switzerland.

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