The research firm’s new ‘Broadcast to Narrowcast’ report claims that the average number of TV minutes watched per day in the UK between 2006 and 2016 was 251.6 minutes. In 2016 it was 231.6 minutes – a figure it described as “broadly consistent”.
However, headline viewing figures are down and binge watching has become “entrenched”, with the fragmentation of TV viewing resulting in viewers tuning in from a range of different devices.
“There were 30.15 million viewers for Eastenders in 1986, whilst only 11.36 million watched The Great British Bake Off in 2016,” according to the report. “These were the most watched TV programmes in their respective years.”
Despite this, YouGov said that the data shows that live commercial terrestrial television still plays “a big role in people’s viewing habits” – even among those who only watch TV through subscription streaming services.
The analysis found that 48% had watched ITV and 51% Channel 4 through the channels’ apps in the past 30 days. Notably fewer, at 28%, had watched Channel 5.
It also said that 45% of those who only access TV through SVOD providers still recall seeing adverts in the TV they have watched over the past week. Some 30% said they didn’t remember seeing any ads.
“People watch TV in different ways but it doesn’t necessarily follow that the number of people watching traditional television have fallen that much,” said head of YouGov Reports, Stephen Harmston.
“These broadcasters and their advertisers need to be realistic but not panicked about the challenge to them from subscription video on demand providers.
“While the likes of Now TV and Netflix inevitably siphon off some viewers some of the time, they are not taking most the traditional broadcasters’ viewers most of the time.”