NEWS27 February 2015

TV set viewing falling as mobile viewing rises

News UK

UK — TV viewers in the UK are watching 10 minutes less a day compared with last year and all of that is from TV set viewing, according to the latest report from commercial TV marketing body, Thinkbox.


Total average daily TV viewing in the UK during 2014 was three hours, 44 minutes, 30 seconds a day per person. There was a 4.5% decline in total TV viewing with TV set viewing decreasing by 4.7%. However viewing on other screens, such as tablets and laptops, grew year-on-year by 17%.

Although viewing on TV sets declined in 2014, 98.4% of all TV was watched on a TV set; 86% of TV set viewing was on a TV set in the living room according to BARB.

Thinkbox said analysis of BARB data showed that 95% of the dip in TV set viewing is accounted for by the heaviest TV viewers (those who were watching over an average of four hours a day) watching less.

In 2014, 88% of all TV set viewing was watched live compared with 89% in 2013 (there is no data yet to show what proportion of TV watched on other screens is live-streamed).

In the 58% of households that own a digital television recorder, 83% of TV on a TV set in 2014 was watched live compared with 84% in 2013. So the level of non-live viewing (i.e. playback and VOD within seven days on a TV set) seems to be settling around the 15-20% mark. Almost half ( 48%) of all recorded viewing is watched within 24 hours of recording.

Lindsey Clay, Thinkbox chief executive said: “After years of record growth for broadcast TV as on-demand began to flower, new viewing trends are now becoming established and there’s a new eco-system for TV. It is nuanced, it raises new opportunities for advertisers, it reflects how modern viewers want to enjoy TV – and it is a royal pain in the arse for BARB to measure. But, it is here, it is the future and we should help advertisers make the most of it because TV remains their most potent weapon.”

The figures are based on the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board’s (BARB) standard measurement for TV set viewing (which only includes in-home TV viewing on a TV set, live or playback, within seven days of broadcast) and figures supplied by the UK broadcasters to Thinkbox for TV viewing on other screens.