Internet use in Greece has developed rapidly in recent years due to the attractive offers of the telecommunications companies. According to a recent study by the Hellenic National Centre for Social Research (2016), nearly 60 percent of the population aged 15 and over report themselves as Internet users. More than three quarters of non-users state that the main reasons for not using it are lack of technical knowledge and lack of interest. Almost all Internet users connect from home, while more than two thirds of the employed users connect to the Internet at work and two thirds of students use it at school. Half of the users report using the Internet at other locations as well, while only one third of them uses portable devices. Computers are the most widely used devices to connect to the Internet, while cell phones are used by two thirds of the users. Tablets and e-readers are less popular as they are used by less than half of the user population. The clear majority of Greek users (84.6 percent) consider the Internet as an important or very important source of information (68.7 percent turn to the Internet for news consumption every day).
As noted earlier, the advertising expenditure declined by about 65 percent over the 2007/2016 period. Some media analysts remain pessimistic on the prospects of the advertising market due to the ongoing crisis. Few are more optimistic. According to the Greek PR company, Gravity The Newtons, the Greek media advertising expenditure between January-August 2016 was €340 million (€284 million after taxes). Thus, the advertising spending in Greece has presented a growth of 12 percent compared to the same period in 2015. Television has remained the dominant advertising vehicle absorbing about 51 percent of the ad-spending followed by digital media (23 percent) (Tsoukalas 2016).
Internet advertising revenues have increased continuously from 2010 to 2013. Nevertheless, in the last two years it fell from about €150 million in 2014 to €143 million by the end of 2015 (IAB, 2016). This growth in online advertising is in line with international trends, and can be attributed to the emergence of “display and video” advertising models - the images or videos displayed on websites which have grown by 50 percent since 2013. (IAB, 2016)
Other types of online advertising such as the “search advertising” model, those that appear in search engines, and the “classified/directory” model, short texts derived from traditional press-classified advertisements, are becoming less prominent. Newsletter and email marketing models are still popular, holding a global share of 45 percent in 2015.
As in other countries, search engines, social media and websites are the main gateways Greeks use to access content. According to Alexa.com, Google.gr comes first in the search engines followed by in.gr. Moreover, one out of three Greek Internet users have an account on social media sites. According to the Public Issue report of October 2016, 32 percent of the Greek population over 18 years (i.e. 2.851,000 individuals) have an account on social media, which are trusted as much as 35 percent. Regarding the younger generation of 18-34 years old, 81 percent have an account on social media.
Facebook is the most used social network site in Greece, 30 percent of the Greek population (i.e., 2.673,000 individuals) of Greek web users have a Facebook account. Twitter is the second most popular social network, and it accounts 713,000 users. Instagram is the third popular social network, with 465,000 users followed by Linkedin’s 365,000 users, Google+’s 267,000 users, Pinterest’s 178,000 users, and Foursquare’s 89,000 users (Public Issue, 2016).
Moreover, according to the Hellenic National Centre for Social Research, more than two thirds of Greeks rely on interpersonal sources for information, while less than half of the respondents consider traditional media sources (television, radio and newspapers) as important or very important for acquiring information. The Internet also seems to be the most important source of entertainment for most of the respondents, however, television and radio are also considered important or very important.