Ofcom TV Television

Broadcast TV advertising revenue returned to growth in 2013 while online TV revenue is up 41%, Ofcom says

By Angela Haggerty | Reporter

August 6, 2014 | 4 min read

Broadcast TV advertising revenue returned to growth in 2013 with a rise of four per cent to almost £3.7bn while the UK TV industry as a whole generated £12.9bn in revenue, representing a rise of 3.4 per cent.

Report: TV is performing strongly, according to Ofcom

The figures, released in Ofcom’s Communications Market Report, showed that online TV revenue increased by 41 per cent last year to £364m and the subscription model saw the most rapid growth with an increase of 76 per cent to £112m. The report said the numbers were a “possible indication that online streaming services are gaining traction in the UK market”.

Subscription revenues in the sector overall increased by 6.7 per cent in 2013 to almost £5.9bn, accounting for nearly half (46 per cent) of TV industry revenues.

Meanwhile, content spend by UK TV channels was up by 3.7 per cent to £5.8bn, with sports programming increasing 19 per cent.

While the report said TV viewing “remained resilient”, there was a decline in 2013 of all age groups in 2013 according to BARB, with average viewing down from 241 minutes in 2012 to 232 in 2013.

TV accounted for the biggest rise in communications industry revenues in 2013, according to the report, and a 5.1 per cent increase in TV revenue along with a two per cent increase in postal revenue offset revenue falls in telecoms and radio. Revenue across all sectors overall therefore remained the same in 2013 at £60.1bn.

Meanwhile, media consumption continued to change in 2013 and figures showed a notable gap between younger and older generations. Household uptake of tablet devices nearly doubled in the last year, and by Q1 2014 44 per cent of households reported having a tablet device, up from 24 per cent.

The number of adults with smartphones also increased, up by 10 per cent to 61 per cent in Q1 compared to the same period in 2013, and almost six in 10 consumers now access the internet on mobile phones.

However, smartphones came third behind TV and desktop/laptop in terms of time spent on devices across a typical day, although in the 16-24 age group a quarter of all communications/media time was done on a mobile phone, and 77 per cent of social media use was done on mobile.

The age group also spent more time on social media than adults, at one hour and 24 minutes compared to 51 minutes.

According to Ben Casperz, MD of PR and digital communications agency Claremont, the figures show that social communication must be embedded at the heart of marketing campaigns.

“It demonstrates that social communication is now embedded in the mindset of the whole of society. From 'millennium generation' teenagers leading the way, to workers using technology to improve work life balances and to older people increasing their social literacy, social media needs to be integrated into the heart of campaigns to all audiences,” he said.

"Secondly, it proves that it has never been more important for marketing teams to be reflective of the whole of society - and bringing bright young talent into teams through Apprenticeships and paid internships is vital to the sustainability of the whole industry.”

The report showed that almost every adult (99 per cent) said they engage in two or more media activities at the same at some point during their week, with watching TV and making voice calls the most popular combination.

The 14-15-year-old age group showed the highest level of technological knowledge, while knowledge and use of newer devices was demonstrably lower than the younger generation.

Six in 10 (62 per cent) of adults admitted new technology sometimes confused them, although 54 per cent said they “wouldn’t know what to do” without technology.

According the report, children are the “advocates of technology”, with the 6-15 age range showing more enthusiasm and reliance on technology than adults.

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