Tuesday, July 19, 2022

By Cate McCurry, PA

Irish households spent €49 million on social media and dating sites in 2020, new figures show.

The total household expenditure on digital services was estimated at €896 million in 2020, new data published by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) shows.

Of the €896 million, €138 million (15 per cent) went to Irish resident companies supplying digital services.

At €211 million, video streaming services was the largest category of digital service, followed by online gaming at €137 million and online gambling at €130 million.

The largest share of the country’s digital service imports came from the UK at €302 million, with online gambling being the largest service type imported from the UK.

Senior statistician Patrick Quill said: “This publication presents new estimates by the Central Statistics Office of household consumption of digitally provided services.

“The estimates are based on data from administrative sources as well as from publicly available information.

“The analysis includes estimates of spending by households on streaming, gaming, audiobooks, podcasts, social media, app stores, data storage services, education and wellbeing and other online services.

“The costs of access to broadband and television are not included.”

The UK provided more digital services to Irish households than any other country at 34 per cent of the total spend, followed by Ireland at 15 per cent and the Netherlands at 13 per cent.


Video streaming, at €211 million or 24 per cent of the total spend, was the largest category of paid-for digital services.

The next highest categories of spending were on online gaming and online gambling, both at 15 per cent of the total spend.

In 2020, Irish households spent €49 million on social media and dating sites, €25 million on publishing, audiobooks and podcasts, and €21 million on online services of education, wellbeing and hobbies in 2020.

These amounts add up to 11 per cent of the total spend on digital services.

The CSO said international comparisons were not readily available.

However, cross-border spending of €758 million on digital services by Irish households compares with an estimated €7.4 billion cross-border digital purchases by German households in 2019.

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