Press release: 12.344-184/20

Corona crisis boosts Internet telephony

Vienna, 2020-10-14 – Telephony and video calls via Internet are booming in times of the Corona pandemics. This is shown by recent data from Statistics Austria on the use of information and communication technology (ICT) in private households. Around 60% of the Austrian population aged 16 to 74 stated that they had made phone calls via the Internet in the three months prior to the survey, which took place between April and June 2020. Video streaming services also enjoy increasing popularity, they are used by around 38% of this age group. Online shopping is used widespread as well: 56% of the 16 to 74 year olds bought goods or services online in the three months prior to the survey.

Telephony over the Internet is booming

Calls over the Internet with or without a camera became more and more important in Austria during the Corona crisis. Since the last survey in 2019, the proportion of people who made calls or video calls via Internet within the three months prior to the survey has increased by almost 20 percentage points from 41% to 60%. This corresponds to around 4 million 16 to 74 year olds living in Austria.

The trend towards increasing Internet usage as a means of communication can be observed across all age groups; however, it stands out particularly among the younger age groups. In the 25 to 34 age group, the proportion of people who telephoned via Internet increased from 54% to 80% and is now almost as high as the proportion of 16 to 24 year olds using the Internet for this purpose (84%). But even among 65 to 74 year olds, an increase of more than 10 percentage points was recorded. The proportion of people who used the Internet to make phone calls was almost a third (29%) in this age group. While the proportions of men and women were roughly the same in 2019, it can now be observed that women (62%) use internet telephony services somewhat more frequently than men (58%; see table).

Video streaming services more and more popular

Both paid and non-paid video streaming services have increasingly become an integral part of the domestic entertainment landscape in Austria recently. In 2016, paid offers (such as Netflix, Maxdome or Amazon Prime) were only used by 12% of the Austrian 16 to 74 year old resident population. By 2018, this share had more than doubled to 25%, and in 2020 38% of the 16 to 74-year-olds streamed paid video content.

Free video streaming services (like Youtube or Vimeo) have already enjoyed great popularity for years, but even here an increase in usage rates was recorded. The proportion of 16 to 74-year-olds who streamed free video content in the three months prior to the survey was 54% in 2016. In 2020, free video streaming services were used by 64%.

There were strong age-specific differences in both the use of paid and non-paid video content over the Internet. For example, while 94% of the 16 to 24 year olds streamed free videos, only 22% of 65 to 74 year-olds used free content.

The trend to obtain video content via Internet is also reflected in traditional TV offerings. The proportion of people who streamed TV programs in real time or with a time delay (e.g. via live streams, media libraries) has increased from 27% to 38% since 2018.

56% of people surveyed shop online

Around 3.7 million people between 16 and 74 bought goods or services over the Internet in the three months prior to the survey. That corresponds to 56% of the population in this age group. Compared to the previous year, only slight increases were recorded (2019: 54%). There were only differences between men and women in individual age groups. While older men did their shopping online more often than women of the same age, women were the more active online shoppers in the younger age groups. Regardless of gender, however, there is still a large age gap. 73% of the 16 to 24 year olds bought goods or services online in the three months prior to the survey. Only 22% of the 65 to 74 year olds shopped online.

The goods most frequently bought online were clothes (54% of online shoppers), printed books, magazines and newspapers (33%), food ordered online from restaurants, fast food chains or delivery services (29% of online shoppers), computers, tablets, mobile phones or related accessories (28%), furniture, home accessories or garden products (27%) and sports goods (24%).

For more detailed results and further information concerning statistics of ICT usage in households and by individuals please refer to our website.

Information on methods, definitions: These are the results of the Community Survey on ICT Usage in households and by individuals 2020. The survey is based on an EU regulation (Regulation (EC) No 808/2004) which obliges Austria and all other EU member states to deliver data concerning this topic; furthermore, there is a Commission Regulation (Regulation (EU) No 2019/1910) that contains all indicators. The survey was conducted by Statistics Austria as a sample survey applying a harmonised questionnaire, standardised definitions and a common methodology. Data from approximately 3 500 households and approximately 4 900 individuals were raised. The field phase was from April to June 2020. The reference period is the time of the survey for household data and the last three resp. twelve months prior to the survey for individual data. Households with at least one member between the age of 16 and 74 years and persons living in these households in this age group were surveyed. 
Apart from the main indicators (ICT equipment in households, Internet usage, usage of e-Government services online shopping), the questionnaire comprises, also annual changing indicators on ICT-related issues (according to the Commission's Communication "Digital Single Market Strategy" and the benchmarking framework "Monitoring the Digital Economy & Society 2016–2021"). This survey was conducted in all EU member states; therefore, it will be possible to compare the data within Europe. European results are expected for the end of the year 2020.


Internet usage and activities 2020 by age groups and gender
CharacteristicsAll personsPersons who…in the last three months
used the Internet made calls or video calls via Internetwatched Video on Demand from commercial services watched video content from sharing servicesstreamed Internet TV from TV broadcastersshopped online*
in 1 000in % all persons
Total6 600.087.559.937.764.337.755.6
16 to 24 years833.299.684.173.394.352.273.1
25 to 34 years1 190.797.779.364.990.451.372.4
35 to 44 years1 167.395.771.147.878.345.471.3
45 to 54 years1 318.191.554.327.259.933.552.4
55 to 64 years1 252.678.241.513.139.727.039.2
65 to 74 years837.957.428.92.621.615.822.0
Men3 276.889.257.739.269.541.556.4
Women3 323.285.962.
Men, Age       
16 to 24 years421.099.182.872.296.259.673.3
25 to 34 years604.899.377.766.391.150.367.5
35 to 44 years585.694.966.848.781.348.069.4
45 to 54 years656.190.949.827.366.436.752.8
55 to 64 years617.881.939.016.747.532.744.0
65 to 74 years391.563.228.72.829.220.527.7
Women, Age       
16 to 24 years412.2100.085.374.392.444.672.8
25 to 34 years586.096.180.963.589.652.477.5
35 to 44 years581.896.475.546.975.342.773.2
45 to 54 years662.092.158.727.053.430.451.9
55 to 64 years634.874.744.09.732.121.434.6
65 to 74 years446.452.429.12.414.911.716.9

Grafik 2

For further inquiries please contact Directorate Social Statistics, Statistics Austria:  
Nina DJAHANGIRI, Tel. +43 (1) 71128-7522 resp. and 
Jakob PETERBAUER, Tel. +43 (1) 71128-7392 resp.

Media owner, producer and publisher: 
STATISTICS AUSTRIA, Federal Institution under Public Law 
1110 Vienna, Austria, Guglgasse 13, Tel.: +43 (1) 71128-7777