Carat on Media...

Experts from Carat in Edinburgh review the latest media data releases, divulge the key trends in media and offer insightful views using their own bespoke research.

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The changing way we watch Television programmes

Fiona Booth, Research Manager, looks at how non-linear television programme viewing habits are evolving

Just over half of all adults now watch some television programming weekly through their set top box video-on-demand services, according to new data from our Consumer Connection System 2012. This method of viewing is so mainstream now that the profile of these types of viewers is pretty much in line with the adult population, both by age and by social grade (those 55+ are, as might be expected, less likely to use this type of catch-up service but, unexpectedly, only marginally so). Set top box VoD viewers are 27% more likely than average to agree their children tend to dictate what they watch, so watching their favourite programmes at a time that suits them (i.e. when the kids are in bed!) means distraction free viewing for this group.

The second most popular method used to catch up on TV programmes, although by quite a margin at 15%, is via PC/Laptop services such as BBC’s iPlayer and the ITV player. This method of viewing is more likely to appeal to a younger demographic with under 45’s, under 35’s in particular, more likely to watch television programmes this way weekly.

Only 4% of British adults watch television programmes weekly though their games consoles. These viewers have the youngest profile, with under 35’s over twice as likely to watch TV through their Xbox or Playstation. Unsurprisingly about a third of this group are still living at home with their parents, but almost half actually live with their spouse. With BBC iPlayer only launching on Xbox Live in March and ITV Player still to launch, we should expect the number of people watching tv programmes this way to increase over the next year.

Viewing television programmes weekly on an iPod, iPad or tablet PC is similarly low at only 4% of all adults, due in no small part to only 12% of all households having a tablet PC. However, that 12% is up fivefold on last year so it’s pretty safe to say that these figures can only increase. More importantly, if you rebase against all iPod/iPad or tablet PC owners, a massive 73% of them watch television programmes weekly through these devices. This group is typically under 45, and has the most affluent profile at 71% ABC1.

The least popular method of catching up on television programmes weekly, at 3%, is through mobiles. It’s more likely to be popular with under 45’s in general, and within that 20-35’s in particular. Most likely used for viewing on the move, it’s probably unsurprising that these viewers spend the most time out of home at an average 35 hours a week compared to the adult average of 18 hours a week.

All figures are sourced from Consumer Connection System 2012, our own survey of 11,000 GB adults.

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