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Thinkbox: New technology hasn't stopped TV dominating the video world

Monday, March 14th 2016 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

The average TV viewer watched slightly less telly last year than they did in 2014, new figures show.

Research by Thinkbox, the marketing body for commercial TV in the UK, found that the average viewer watched three hours and 51 minutes of TV per day in 2015.

That’s 1% less than in 2014 but 5% more than in 2005.

For the first time, the figure includes TV watched on devices other than the traditional television set, although the average viewer spends only four minutes a day watching TV on a tablet, smartphone or laptop.

Those aged between 16 and 24 watched an average of two hours, 20 minutes of TV a day – with 10 minutes watched on devices other than a TV set.

Thinkbox’s figures show that in 2015, the average person in the UK watched four hours, 35 minutes a day of video in all its different forms – an increase of 15 minutes a day since 2014.

More than three quarters (76%) of total video viewing came from live, recorded or on-demand TV last year – down from 81% the year before.

YouTube’s share of the market grew from 3.5% in 2014 to 4.4% last year. Subscription-based services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime accounted for 4% of total video viewing – up from 2.3% in 2014.

The percentage share of DVDs fell from 3.8% in 2014 to 2.9% last year. Video viewing on Facebook (2.2%) and other online video (5.8%) were included in the figures for the first time.

Thinkbox found that 16-24 year olds watch twice as much streaming content than the UK average and do 38% of their viewing on mobile devices, compared to 20% for all individuals.

'Get a grip'

Thinkbox CEO Lindsey Clay said: “TV has expanded in recent years into new times and places; the way we watch TV is changing.

“We need to show as accurate a picture as possible of how much TV we are watching – and where TV sits in the emerging video world.

“With so many different forms of video out there it can be confusing so it is important to get a grip on what is really happening.”

She said the new figures show that TV still dominates the video world for all age groups.

“Today’s young people watch on-demand forms of video more than the generations before that didn’t grow up with them.

“This makes sense as they do not tend to have control of the TV set and so turn to their personal screens to watch what they want.

“What is remarkable is that in the last decade, when so many new technologies and services have arrived that could have disrupted TV, TV viewing has remained so dominant.”

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