The Internet penetration rate in Portugal in households was 74 percent in 2016, according to the National Statistics Institute (by comparison, in 2002 this figure was only 15.1 percent). However, mobile Internet access is the fastest-growing mode (by the end of 2016, almost six million users accessed the Internet in mobile broadband). The trend in the expansion of mobile broadband in Portugal compares with what has been happening worldwide, with more and more consumers accessing digital content through mobile devices. With mobility playing a key role in content reception forms, publishers have invested in distributing content specifically for tablets and smartphones.
The 2016 edition of the survey “Public and Media Consumption” concludes that the use of the Internet, in the context of mobility, is done mostly through smartphones and especially by the age group of 15 to 24 years.
According to the same study, Internet users first access online newspapers and magazines, followed by radio and television. In what concerns the usage of the new possibilities opened up by the Internet, the press has been more active than other media, particularly television, who's online offerings are very focused on streaming and making available programs that have already been transmitted, duplicating functionalities offered by receiver boxes.
As an example of this active role of press, in 2014, the weekly Expresso created the Expresso Diário, a newspaper in digital format accessible by subscription or for those who get the weekly printed version. At the same time, newspaper Público offers limited free access to content on its website in an effort to increase the subscriptions.
A native digital editorial project, Observador, was launched in May 2014, by a handful of private shareholders and journalists. It is presented not only as “a newspaper in digital format” but as “an Internet-age newspaper that understands new ways of accessing information”, with an emphasis on multi platform distribution and interaction with readers.
Although readers continue to give primacy to print media in their consumption habits, the growing importance of the digital media is undeniable, especially among younger users.