The latest edition of TV Key Facts is titled ‘Restart.’ We are in the midst of a shift to a new era where media, consumers and brands are building the world of tomorrow together, combining the best of innovation with sustainable and responsible practices. The TV Key Facts report assembles trends, research and data to provide a local and global view of the future of the media and advertising industry. Here is a summary of the main findings concerning total video consumption and content trends. More data and insights covering topics such as the advertising market, ROI, audience measurement and CSR can be found on the TV Key Facts website and online database, as well as at the upcoming live event.
Time spent watching video is at an all-time high
2020 was a year of upheaval. Lockdown life caused a reset in people’s free time and therefore consumption habits. We saw the renaissance of the living room as people invested in home comforts such as new screens and sofas. Total video consumption exploded across the world, with viewing figures averaging at approximately 5 hours per day across the world (up to 05:53 in the US)*, proving the ongoing importance of TV and video content. However, the media landscape is rapidly changing and fragmenting. In terms of time split between methods of consumption, linear TV still takes the lead in Europe, but video on demand (VOD), on-demand TV, short-form video and pay-per-view TV are increasingly important. Still, trends differ a lot from country to country. In the UK, live TV represents just 54% of video consumption, while in Spain and Italy this figure is 80%*.
TV is the global video platform
In 2020, the global average daily TV viewing time increased by 6 minutes*, while in Europe average daily consumption reached 3.54 hours*. Naturally, as we return to ‘normal’ and spend less time at home, this will decrease as we have already seen in 2021. Yet, we have also witnessed TV viewing times increase since before the pandemic, increasing by 20 minutes in the second quarter of 2021 compared to in 2019*. In certain countries, such as France, the Netherlands and Germany, we expect TV consumption to remain higher than 2019 rates.
CTV benefited from lockdowns
The TV screen is fast becoming a vessel for all types of video consumption, with more than 50% of European households equipped with connected TVs (CTV)*. Although penetration of CTV is high, there are vast local differences – there is 60% penetration in Germany compared to 36% in Portugal*. Yet the popularity of this medium is only increasing. In the UK the number of users accessing the internet through a TV set (at least once a month) surpassed the forecast of 38.6 million, reaching 41.1 million in 2020*. More than half of VOD and YouTube content is consumed through a connected screen. VOD is truly the future of video, with everything right down to TV remotes making VOD ever more accessible.
Community and conviviality have never been more important
TV has proven to be the medium that unites, reassures, informs and entertains. From vital news updates about the pandemic to entertaining and comforting people through the long months of lockdown, TV has been the medium that has eased people through these hard times. Experiencing a sense of collectivity was super important during the pandemic and we saw people gather around their TVs, whether to watch news or entertainment formats. 105.8 million Europeans followed the lockdown announcements on TV, and reality programs saw a boost with a 21% increase in the top 10 programs*. One of linear TV’s biggest strengths is the shared viewing experience of entertainment: you don’t want the results of a competition to be revealed by your friends or the media.
Nevertheless, the boundaries between VOD and linear TV are blurring. In the past, VOD focused on fiction and documentaries, while now it is diversifying, offering more ‘TV-like content’ such as sports programs (Roland Garros on Prime Video), or local entertainment or reality TV (Too Hot to Handle on Netflix). Equally, TV channels are developing high-end fiction and documentaries for their own VOD platforms (Sisi on RTL in Germany, Gangs of London on Sky in the UK and La Mia Jungla on Rai in Italy to name a few). In terms of fiction, there is a move away from Hollywood international super-productions toward local series. In Europe, local series are performing best in all markets, whether it’s TV viewing or VOD. Similarly, there’s an emergence of non-English titles, as seen recently with the huge success of Squid Game, viewed by 111m accounts since its launch in September – 95% outside of South Korea.
Local VOD champions versus global players
Competition is consistently getting fiercer, with all players investing massively in new content such as Disney, Discovery, Netflix... VOD is getting closer to TV and broadcasters are investing in content production not for their TV channels but for their own VOD platforms. The number of subscription video on demand (SVOD) services available in each country reached unprecedented levels, with 34 in France, 29 in the UK, 28 in Germany and 19 in the Netherlands*. However, this is an overload – there are only so many services a user can subscribe to. At the heart of the battle is the quality of content – viewers are willing to watch advertising if the content they watch afterward is premium. Today most qualitative VOD offerings don’t offer advertising, which limits the opportunities for visibility for advertisers. However, we are beginning to see more hybrid platforms with subscription-based models that also offer ad-free options. Additionally, advertising-based video on demand (AVOD) offerings are on the rise, which provide benefits for both users and advertisers, decreasing costs per household of video content subscriptions for the former and allowing the latter to reach much-wanted younger viewers.
The living room has become the point of connection between advertisers and European consumers. Advertisers need to understand the changes taking place as they seek to engage with people in their home environments. The Total Video Key Facts report and event provides advertisers with all they need to navigate this evolution.
The latest edition assembles data and insights from the current industry leaders across the globe, who discuss the renaissance of the industry and the future life of the living room.
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Discover the latest media and advertising international trends on December 7 during the ‘Total Video Key Facts 2021’ global online talk. Register here.
*All statistics (and more) can be found in the TV Key Facts report, on our website and on our online database.