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On-demand viewing via devices drives overall TV growth says Thinkbox report


By Jessica Davies, News Editor

February 19, 2013 | 2 min read

TV viewing continues to expand, bolstered by people watching on-demand via tablets, smartphones and laptops, according to Thinkbox’s latest report, which for the first time breaks out viewing via multiple devices.

The average person watched over four hours a day of linear TV in 2012, for the third consecutive year, according to TV measurement body BARB’s figures cited by Thinkbox in the report, while the average UK viewer watched three TV episodes a month on-demand via tablets, smartphones or laptops.

UK viewers watched catch-up TV via services such as ITV Player, Sky Go, 4OD and BBC iPlayer for an average of three minutes a day on non-TV set devices, accounting for an additional 1.2 per cent of TV viewing. This adds up to three 30-minute TV episodes a month per viewer.

These figures were supplied to Thinkbox by UK broadcasters given BARB does not yet provide standardised, multi-device metrics.

However, Thinkbox predicts the rise of smart TVs may cannibalise the amount of on-demand viewing via mobile devices.

The majority (89.9 per cent) of linear TV in 2012 was watched live, seeing a marginal drop from the previous year during which 90.3 per cent was live.

Meanwhile commercial TV viewing during 2012 remained on a par with 2011, despite the Olympics, accounting for 66 per cent of linear viewing. The average person watched two and a half hours of commercial TV a day in 2012 – a minute less than in 2011.

The number of TV ads watched at normal speed during 2012 matched those in 2011, with the average viewer watching 47 ads a day during 2012. Collectively the UK watched an average of 2.7 billion ads a day in 2012, according to the figures.

Just over 10 per cent of viewing was time-shifted in 2012, up from 9.4 per cent in 2011, according to BARB figures.

The full report on TV viewing in 2012 will be published in Thinkbox’s Annual Review, which will be available at the beginning of March on Thinkbox’s website.


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