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26% of Brits say they won’t watch linear TV again... but that doesn’t mean they’re lost

By John Glenday | Reporter

AudienceProject

|

linear tv article

February 21, 2022 | 4 min read

A global shift in viewing habits from linear TV to streaming is continuing at pace in the latest study to demonstrate the profound change in our viewing habits.

Audience Project details the current state of play in the UK for its latest study, which charts a significant drop in weekly linear TV viewers from 79% to 69% over the fourth quarter as viewers increasingly vote with their remotes for streaming alternatives.

This is reflected in a steady decline in the proportion of weekly commercial TV viewers, which slumped from 73% to 63%, according to 7,000 survey respondents across the four target markets.

TV

At 25%, Britain has the highest share of people cutting back on linear TV to cram in more streaming of any surveyed country

In stark contrast, the proportion of the population streaming weekly has now hit 78%, a higher share than the US, Germany and the Nordics, rising to 84% among 15-55-year-olds. Just 62% of this latter group now watch linear TV on a weekly basis.

At 25%, Britain has the highest share of people cutting back on linear TV to cram in more streaming of any surveyed country, with 26% embracing streaming to such an extent that they never watch linear TV.

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Driving these significant drops is a perception among 87% of respondents that the frequency of linear TV ads is ‘excessive,’ commensurate with an increase from 56% to 70% in the number of people to report such ads to be ‘irrelevant.’

Such shifts are unlikely to moderate any time soon, with the survey finding that less than half expect to be watching linear TV in five years, crashing through the break-even point from 58% to 47%.

Martyn Bentley, UK commercial director at Audience Project, said: “Audiences are increasingly shifting their attention from linear TV to streaming/CTV. This presents challenges but also opportunities for the advertisers and broadcasters who adapt the fastest to this change.

“Despite this, linear TV is, of course, still a crucial channel for advertisers to build reach, but with the increasing streaming consumption, advertisers have a great opportunity to extend their audience reach with CTV campaigns. And maybe the more addressable TV world can solve some of the fatigue with the ad irrelevance reported on linear TV?”

The survey follows a 2019 study that found that 57% of Netflix viewers would immediately tear up their subscriptions if advertising was introduced.

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AudienceProject is a marketing technology company based in Copenhagen, Denmark and operational worldwide. The company is based in Copenhagen, Denmark, has offices in Ukraine and is represented in Vietnam, the UK and Germany.

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