Total TV viewing falls 4.5% in 2014 with TV sets remaining UK viewers screen of choice

TV viewing has fallen by 4.5 per cent according to the latest Broadcasters' Audience Research Board (BARB) figures.

Total daily TV viewing in the UK during 2014 averaged at three hours, 44 minutes and 30 seconds per person, a drop of 10 minutes and 30 seconds per day from 2013, with the drop in TV set viewing to blame.

The figures revealed that viewing on other screens such as tablets, smartphones and laptops grew 17 per cent year on year. However, though viewing on TV sets declined the figures showed that TV sets remained the UK's screen of choice with 98.4 per cent of all TV watched on a TV set.

"TV viewing is changing and the data needs to be examined very carefully to understand what is actually going on. After years of record growth for broadcast TV as on-demand began to flower, new viewing trends are now becoming established and there's a new eco-system for TV," said Thinkbox chief executive Lindsey Clay.

"It's nuanced, it raises opportunities for advertisers, it reflects how modern viewers want to enjoy TV - and it's a royal pain in the arse for BARB to measure. But, it is here, it is the future and we should embrace it, understand it and help advertisers make the most of it because TV remains by far their most potent weapon."

Analysis of BARB's data showed that 95 per cent of the dip in TV set viewing can be accounted for by TV heaviest viewers (those who watch more than four hours per day) watching less. Despite a 7.2 per cent drop in heavy viewers the reach of TV in 2014 remained unchanged, 94.6 per cent per week in 2013 compared to 94.2 per cent in 2014.

According to BARB of the 58 per cent of households that own a digital television recorder, 83 per cent of television was watched live, showing that the level of non-live viewing appears to be settling around the 15-20 per cent mark.

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