TV accounts for 94% of video advertising

TV accounts for 94% of video advertising

  • New analysis of 2016 data reveals video consumption in the UK
  • TV accounts for three quarters of total video viewing in the UK

A new analysis by Thinkbox of 2016 video consumption in the UK shows how total video viewing – and viewing of video advertising – breaks down.

The video analysis combined 2016 data from The Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (BARB), comScore, the IPA’s Touchpoints 2016 study, Ofcom’s 2016 Digital Day study and Rentrak box office data to give a like for like comparison of estimated video consumption in the UK.

TV accounts for 74.8% of UK video viewing

This compares to 76% in 2015. Total video consumption increased year on year from an average of 4 hours, 35 minutes a day in 2015 to 4 hours, 37 minutes in 2016.

TV’s proportion of total video viewing breaks down as follows:

  • Live TV: 60% of total video viewing (61.6% in 2015)
  • Playback TV (recorded and watched at a later time): 10.8% (11.4% in 2015)
  • Broadcaster VOD: 3.9% (3% in 2015)

The analysis also shows that:

  • YouTube accounted for 6.4% of average video viewing in 2016, up from 4.4% in 2015
  • Online adult video accounted for 4.9% in 2016, compared with 4.4% in 2015
  • Subscription VOD services – including  Netflix and Amazon Prime – collectively accounted for 4.1%, compared with 4% in 2015
  • DVDs increased their share of video time from 2.9% in 2015 to 3.8% in 2016
  • Facebook was 1.7%, down from 2.2% in 2015
  • Cinema was 0.4% in 2016, unchanged from 2015
UK video viewing 2016

TV accounts for 56.4% of 16-24s’ video viewing

This compares with 57.6% in 2015. 16-24s watched less video in total than the UK average: an average of 3 hours, 27 minutes of video a day in 2016, up from 3 hours, 25 minutes in 2015.

YouTube accounted for 15.6% of 16-24s’ video viewing in 2016, up from 10.3% in 2015. YouTube’s increase appears to have been at the expense of Facebook and other online video. Facebook’s proportion of 16-24s’ video viewing dropped from 5.7% in 2015 to 2.5% in 2016. Other online video – including video found on newsbrands’ and magazine websites, other video services such as Vimeo, and the long tail of online video – shrank from 6.6% in 2015 to 2.5% in 2016.

TV accounts for 93.8% of video ad viewing

The average person in the UK watched 20 minutes of video advertising a day in 2016. TV advertising accounted for 93.8% (18 minutes, 53 seconds a day), compared with 94.4% in 2015. TV advertising is watched full screen, regardless of the device it is watched on, and most likely with the sound on.

Other forms of video advertising break down as follows:

  • YouTube accounted for 0.7% of the video advertising that was seen in 2016, up from 0.5% in 2015
  • Other online video (including Facebook, for which specific data is unavailable) collectively accounted for 5.2%, up from 4.7% in 2015
  • Cinema accounted for 0.4%, the same proportion as in 2015
UK video advertising video 2016

TV accounts for 89.5% of video ad viewing for 16-24s

This compares with 88.6% in 2015. 16-24s watched an average of 13 minutes of video advertising a day in 2016. TV accounted for 11 minutes, 31 seconds of this total.

YouTube accounted for 1.8% of 16-24s’ video ad viewing in 2016 (up from 1.3% in 2015); other online (including Facebook) was 7.6% (9.2% in 2015); and cinema was 1.1% (0.9% in 2015).

Lindsey Clay, Thinkbox CEO: "It is important that advertisers have as clear a view as possible of how the video world looks so they can make informed decisions.

“The available data clearly shows that TV is the pre-eminent form of video. However, scale is only one part of the story. An analysis like this can't include things like relative quality and trust, the amount of premium content different video have to offer and, ultimately, advertising effectiveness. In these areas too TV stands out.

 “TV is a trusted, high quality environment for advertisers that is proven to work. It has a huge variety of premium programming across every genre and can satisfy the demands of many thousands of advertisers simultaneously and for the long-term. Now more than ever these are crucial distinctions between it and a lot of other types of video.”

TV advertising investment totalled £5.28 billion in 2016

Recently released figures show that TV ad revenue in the UK totalled £5.28 billion in 2016, up 0.2% on 2015, according to full year revenue figures provided to Thinkbox by the UK commercial TV broadcasters. This represents the seventh consecutive year that TV advertising revenue has grown in the UK. The figure represents all the money invested by advertisers in commercial TV across all formats and on every screen: linear spot and sponsorship, Broadcaster VOD, and product placement. Online businesses invested a total of £639 million in TV, an increase of 8% on 2015, to become the largest category of advertisers on TV.

For a full overview of TV viewing in 2016 – including a breakdown of the data from The Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board – click here.



Press contact
Simon Tunstill | [email protected]

Notes to editors

Video analysis methodology

The quantitative analysis of total video consumption in the UK combined 2016 data from The Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (BARB), comScore, the IPA’s Touchpoints 2016 study, Ofcom’s 2016 Digital Day study and Rentrak box office data.

BARB data shows how much time is spent viewing broadcaster content, live or time-shifted (DTR and VOD) on the TV set. It also records how much time the TV set is being used for other activities such as SVOD, DVDs and gaming. However, BARB is unable to determine what the splits are between each of these different activities.

To determine these, Thinkbox used Touchpoints 2016 to calibrate the BARB data. This survey provides estimates for the time spent split by the different TV set activities and also provides estimates for how much time is spent viewing this content on other devices such as tablets, smartphones, and laptops.

The combination of these sources creates a solid estimate as it utilises the robustness of BARB data (12,000 panel members, representative of the UK TV population, metered actual consumption data, analysis across a whole year) alongside the detailed splits of viewing activity provided by Touchpoints diary data.

comScore data is used to provide the base level of viewing for online video viewing of YouTube, Facebook & ‘adult’ online video and other online video. comScore, for full year 2016, currently only covers .com video viewing, i.e. viewing via PC/MAC Desktop and Laptop.  To include online mobile video viewing, the analysis uses IPA Touchpoints data. For example, Touchpoints reports that 49% of all viewing to YouTube is PC/Laptop while 51% is via mobile/tablet/TV screens.

In 2016 comScore numbers have declined significantly for Facebook and 'other online video' whilst Touchpoints data for the volume of mobile video viewing hasn't significantly changed.  This explains the decreases in time spent viewing for Facebook and 'other online video'.

The analysis also used census level broadcaster stream data to estimate the time spent watching Broadcaster VOD on both the TV set and other devices. Touchpoints 2016 & Ofcom’s Digital Day 2016 survey was used to estimate the relative size for 16-24s.

Time spent viewing video at cinemas was based on box office sales from Rentrak. 16-24 estimates were generated from the Touchpoints profile data of Cinema goers.

All data is weighted to the entire population based on ONS UK population estimates.

The analysis of video advertising time for 2015 slightly understated the time spent viewing TV advertising as it excluded 1.5 mins of regional TV advertising a day for Individuals (1 minute for 16-24s). The 2015 figures have been adjusted in order to make a year on year comparison with 2016.

About Thinkbox

Thinkbox is the marketing body for commercial TV in the UK, in all its forms. It works with the marketing community with a single ambition: to help advertisers get the best out of today’s TV. Its shareholders are Channel 4, ITV, Sky Media, Turner Media Innovations and UKTV, who together represent over 99% of commercial TV advertising revenue through their owned and partner TV channels.

As well as its five shareholders, Thinkbox also has a number of Associate Members. These are Discovery Networks Norway, Disney, London Live, TAM Ireland, Think TV (Australia), thinktv (Canada), TVN Media (Poland), TV Globo (Brazil), TV2 (Norway) and Virgin Media. Discovery Networks UK & Ireland and STV also give direct financial support.

TV today has more to offer advertisers than ever before, not least because this growing medium remains at the heart of popular culture and advertising effectiveness. From understanding how audiences engage with TV advertising, uncovering what the latest technological developments mean, explaining innovative and affordable solutions, and encouraging creativity to providing the rigorous proof of effectiveness that advertisers need, Thinkbox is here to help businesses meet their marketing objectives.

In recent years, Thinkbox has won a number of awards including Media 360’s Industry Body of the Decade; Best Business to Business Marketing at The Marketing Society Awards for Excellence; the Grand Prix award for Best Media Research of the Year from the Media Research Group; the awards for Advertising and Media Research from the Market Research Society; Research Team of the Year from Mediatel; and its TV advertising has been awarded by The British Television Advertising Awards/ The British Arrows, the APA, D&AD and Creative Circle.


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