UK viewers watch four hours of TV a day

New data reveals that viewers in the UK watched an average of four hours, one minute a day of linear TV on a TV set. The total falls slightly below the record set in 2011, but viewing on devices other than a TV set increased.

Ratings organisation BARB measured the overall viewing times and Thinkbox, the marketing group for the commercial TV industry reported viewing data for TV shows watched on different devices. Using data from the broadcasters, Thinkbox reported that, on average, viewers consumed 90 minutes of TV on-demand on non-TV devices.

Key findings of the BARB and Thinkbox were that over the past decade the amount of linear TV viewed has increased by 27 minutes per day.

Commercial TV accounted for 66% of linear viewing, at a similar level to 2011, and equating to two hours thirty five minutes per day. The proportion rose to 74% in the 16-to-34 demographic.

In addition, 51% of UK households now own a DVR and the level of timeshifted viewing has remained steady in recent years at about 15%. The overall amount of content recorded has fallen slightly and 47% of programming recorded on a DVR is watched within 24 hours.

Lindsey Clay, Thinkbox’s managing director said: “Linear TV is the bedrock of how we watch TV and that is not going to change.  Its continued strength underlines viewers’ preference for watching TV as it is broadcast and on a TV set. Viewing via personal devices, which we have been able to estimate for the first time, is in comparison relatively small, but it is growing rapidly and helping TV as a whole to expand.”