Digital media are taking over the world, resulting in numerous trends and evolutions in our digital usage. Every year, Imec Digimeter provides an overview of this digital usage among the Flemish population. How much has really changed and which platforms are still popular? Does influencer marketing actually work? Are there new players lurking? Let’s dive into the 5 most striking trends in the digital usage.
1. Meta monopoly
Meta is still the biggest player in the social media landscape. The 4 most used platforms remain WhatsApp, Facebook, Facebook Messenger and Instagram, which all belong to Meta. Facebook remains the most popular social media platform, with 82% daily active users in Flanders. Nothing new, right? Well, change is on its way. Facebook and Facebook Messenger are dethroned by Instagram (DM) and WhatsApp. Especially young people (16-24) are more likely to slide in the DMs nowadays.
And don’t forget about TikTok. The music video app is not only booming with Gen Z, 25% of the millennials also use it on a monthly basis. Therefore, TikTok seems to be the rising star of the moment.
2. Influencers increase buying behavior even more
Influencers, they are often seen as role models for young people. 75% of them follow an influencer online, an increase of 10% compared to 2020. But are they really being influenced? The answer is YES! A staggering 61% of the youth have even bought something online thanks to influencer marketing or online ads. Interestingly, it’s not just young people who are being convinced. In 2021, almost 50% of the millennials were encouraged at least once to buy something via social media.
It’s safe to say, influencer marketing is the key to success and will take your campaigns to the next level by reaching different target audiences and age groups.
3. Going cord-cutting
Ever heard of cord-cutting? Cord-cutting literally means cutting the television cable or in other words cancelling your subscription on digital television. 10% of the Flemish population has already done this, and this trend is here to stay. We are consuming more and more online, across multiple platforms and mainly via mobile. Only half of the Flemish people still watches television daily, a result of the cord-cutting phenomenon. We replace our digital television subscription by watching postponed TV, videos via streaming platforms or free offers on apps and websites of television channels such as VTM GO (26%) and VRT.NU (39%). Out with the old, in with the new.
4. Netflix vs. Streamz vs. Disney+
When you think of streaming services, you think of Netflix. Netflix is still the king of the streaming platforms, with 40% weekly users. However, Disney+ and Streamz are hot on its trail. Thanks to cord-cutting, streaming online content is the trend we all follow, especially Gen Z and millennials.
5. Spotify & podcasts go hand in hand
Podcasts: by now almost all of us (93%) have heard of the term, although this was definitely not the case a few years ago when only 21% had an idea what a podcast entailed. That has escalated quickly!
Especially among young people, podcasts are gaining popularity. 20% of 16- to 24-year-olds listen to them at least once a month, amongst 25- to 34-year-olds this is even 23%. Where does this popularity come from? Well, you can listen to podcasts anywhere and, anytime, and you learn something from them, too. So, it’s a win-win situation for young generations.
Spotify is the number one platform when it comes to streaming music, but also for listening to podcasts. Monthly, the website has 59% music streamers and 49% podcasts listeners. Spotify and podcasts, that’s a match made in heaven.