TV is the heart of the video world


The direction of travel in media and advertising has been towards video. And, in video, the direction of travel is undoubtedly towards TV. This should mean increased ad budgets for video as a whole, and TV in particular – but only the TV you can advertise with and where the ads work. Time spent with different forms of video is important to know (and we’re going to tell you), but advertisers should care most about time spent with different forms of video advertising (something we’re also going to tell you).

One key thing to remember when considering the video world is that newer forms of video are not necessarily substitutes for TV. For example, YouTube is often used as a jukebox and this is likely to be replacing audio time previously spent elsewhere. In 2017, 71% of 16-34s used YouTube for background music at least once a month, up from 57% in 2016 (source: IPA Touchpoints, 2017).

Thinkbox’s analysis of video consumption in the UK, using 2017 data from the best industry sources available, including BARB, comScore, Ofcom, IPA Touchpoints, and Rentrak, showed that:

  • TV is the most popular form of video, accounting for 71% of the average person’s video diet
  • Amongst 16-34s, TV accounts for 49% of video viewing time
  • YouTube, for example, accounts for 9.1%, and SVOD services like Netflix and Amazon account for 6.4%
  • More importantly for advertisers, TV accounts for 95% of all video advertising that is seen – YouTube, for example, accounts for 0.9%
  • For 16-34s, TV accounts for 90% of video advertising, with YouTube at 2.9%




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