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Even though there has been a huge uptake of portable devices capable of playing out video, 98.5% of TV viewing is still set-based according to new research by Thinkbox.

The marketing body for commercial TV in the UK — whose shareholders include Channel 4, ITV, Sky Media, Turner Media Innovations and UKTV — also found that perhaps the biggest shift taking place was that of on-demand which has rapidly become a more established part of people’s lives.

In all, the survey found that the average viewer in the UK watched four hours, one minute, of TV a day during January to June 2013 with three hours, 58 minutes a day accounted for by viewing of linear TV on a TV set. This represented 12 minutes more linear TV a day during the first half of the year than ten years ago. 89% of linear TV was watched live compared to 89.9% in 2012.

In the estimated 58% of households that own DTRs, 83.8 % of linear TV was watched live compared to 84.4% in January to June 2012. Just over four-fifths of all time-shifted viewing is watched within two days of recording just under half (47%) of time-shifted viewing is seen within 24 hours of it being recorded.

Viewing via devices such as tablets, smartphones and laptops was three minutes, 30 seconds a day, just over three half-hour TV shows a month. In total, viewing on non-TV set devices via established services such as ITV Player, Sky Go, 4OD and BBC iPlayer, and new services like Dave On-demand, accounted for 1.5% of overall TV viewing during the first half of 2013. This is a slight increase on the full year figure for 2012, when it accounted for 1.2%.

However, Thinkbox noted that balancing this growth was the increasing availability of on-demand services to TV sets, which it believes could eventually limit viewing on other devices.

Commercial TV accounted for 68% of linear viewing, up from 66% in 2012, and 73% of linear viewing among the younger 16-34 audience. Commercial impacts during January to June 2013 were up 0.9% on the same period in 2012, and have grown 12.3% over the last five years. The average viewer watched 48 ads a day – this is five ads more a day than five years ago. Collectively the UK watched an average of 2.8 billion ads a day in the first half of the year.

Commenting on the results, Lindsey Clay, Thinkbox’s managing director, said: “We know that people watch live TV and on demand TV for different reasons. They co-exist and together are helping TV to grow as a medium. People’s ongoing enthusiasm for TV, and their growing enthusiasm for embracing new ways to watch it, is great news for advertisers, who don’t always get the recognition they deserve for contributing to TV’s health and expansion.”