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Analytics

TV versus digital, by the numbers

In the never-ending battle for audiences, will the old-school tube reign victorious over digital streaming? Short answer: It depends on who you ask.
June 14, 2016

Canadian-based ThinkTV is setting out to remind people how much audiences still love the old-school television, even amid this era of digital.

The organization, which advocates on behalf of broadcasters to advertisers, found in a recent study that Canadians watch more than 28 hours of TV per week, versus just 1.5 hours of YouTube.

This is comparable, it found, to viewing patterns around the globe.

In the U.K., for example, U.K. research firm Thinkbox found TV accounted for 76% of average viewing consumption, versus YouTube, which accounted for only 4.4%. That trends predictably downwards for younger demographics (58% vs. 10%).

While YouTube seems to fall flat in the study, the Google-owned platform self-reported that on mobile alone YouTube now reaches more 18 to 49 year olds than any broadcast or cable network — more than the top-10 TV shows combined.

In Germany, TV viewership rises to 90% when measured against all video activity (versus 3% for video on non-TV screens and 5% on free online videos). For France, 80% of video viewing is still on live TV, while online video only makes up 6%, ThinkTV reports. Down under, Australians spend an average of 85 hours per month watching linear TV, while in the U.S., ad-supported TV still dominates 86% of the time.

ThinkTV also highlights some of the challenges facing this space, namely reliable and consistent metrics. For example, while YouTube seems to fall flat in the study, the Google-owned platform self-reported that on mobile alone YouTube now reaches more 18 to 49 year olds than any broadcast or cable network — more than the top-10 TV shows combined. 

A recent research study from Boston-based Strategy Analytics found nearly 60% of U.S. broadband households subscribe to a video streaming service (Netflix accounts for 53% of all subscriptions, with Amazon Video at 25% and Hulu at 13%). Of those who subscribed to an SVOD service, almost 40% are signed up for at least two.

Another study by Nielsen found TV-time is trending downwards, with 18- to 35-year-olds spending 34% less time with traditional television than they had five years ago. Weekly, television reached just 73% of millennials, compared to 85% of all adults (that’s its reach, not its percentage of all video views). But within that cohort, millennials differed even further: Nielsen found the youngest and oldest millennials (those living with their parents or in shared accommodations and those starting families of their own) are most likely to subscribe to a traditional television provider, while those living on their own in their mid-20s are least likely to consume linear TV.

Some studies reveal that cord-cutting is slowing, while others find connected TVs and box-top sets are on the rise. And, of course, YouTube continues to grow its viewership, as does Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, not to mention several niche channels that are expanding rapidly.

 

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