Thinkbox: Linear TV dominates UK viewing habits

A massive 98.5% of UK TV viewing was done on a traditional TV set last year, with viewing on devices such as tablets, smartphones and PCs accounting for only the remaining 1.5%, according to new stats.

The research, by UK commercial TV marketing body Thinkbox and linear TV measurement firm BARB, claimed that the viewing figures “show that the TV set remains the centre of people’s TV viewing”.

Total average daily TV viewing in the UK during 2013 was three hours, 55 minutes, 30 seconds per day per person. Of this three hours, 52 minutes a day was linear TV on a TV set, while just three minutes, 30 seconds a day of viewing was done via devices such as tablets, smartphones and laptops, according to Thinkbox.

This is contrast to stats from research firm IHS in September, which claimed viewers in the US and UK were spending as much as 40 minutes a day watching on-demand or timeshifted programming and that linear broadcasting continued to decline.

“In total, viewing on non-TV set devices via Broadcaster VOD services – such as ITV Player, Sky Go, 4OD and BBC iPlayer, and DaveOD – accounted for 1.5% of overall TV viewing during 2013. This is a slight increase on the full year figure for 2012, when it accounted for 1.2%,” according to the research.

Though linear viewing was down slightly on the four hours, one minute watched during 2012, according to BARB viewers in the UK watched 8 minutes more linear TV a day in 2013 than ten years ago.

Nearly 89% of linear TV was watched live compared to 89.9% in 2012, while commercial TV accounted for 68% of linear viewing, up from 66% in 2012. Among 16 to 34 year-olds it was even higher, accounting for 76% of linear viewing.

“Once all households have the ability to digitally record TV programmes, Thinkbox expects the average level of recorded and playback TV viewing to settle at around 15-20% of total linear viewing, as it has in those households that do currently own DTRs.  However on-demand TV will increase as a proportion of the time-shifted total,” the firm said.

Tags: Thinkbox