So, you think broadcast TV is dead, eh?!

March 10, 2017

If TV Is So Dead, Why Is It Smashing YouTube And Facebook?

  • Thanks Sean Hargrave.

It's that time again when those who write off traditional channels such as television get a rude awakening. We have all been at those conferences where someone stands up and tells us what dinosaurs we are for not "getting" that everyone has moved on from the channels we grew up with and to get down with the kids, you have to be social, or on a messaging app.

So for anyone who needs to be able to fire back with some common sense backed up by a bunch of statistics, we have the latest figures from Thinkbox. They make for very interesting reading.


Far from being on its last legs, in the UK 94% of video ads are viewed on television.

This breaks down as live tv (85.7%),

playback tv (6.5%) or

broadcaster video on demand (1.6%).


Pretty dominant, eh? And that position is underscored by;

YouTube accounting for less than 1%.

Online video ads, by the way, including auto play, and account for just over 5%.

If you're wondering about what timespan these are percentages for, the average person consumes twenty minutes of video advertising each day, while the average Millennial consumes 13. 


If we turn our attention to video consumption, which I guess we could refer to as attention, television once again does very well;

with a 60% share.

When you add a further 10% for playback tv and 4% for broadcaster video on demand, that's pretty much three-quarters of all video consumption happening on television.

Take it another step and add in 4% for Netflix-style subscriber services and we're up to 80% (admittedly, some of that Netflix and broadcaster VOD may be on a device). 

By way of contrast, YouTube gets just 6.4%,

Facebook 1.7% and

other online video sources 4%, so that's around 12% between them.

This is actually smaller than the proportion of people who are watching catch-up tv and broadcaster video on demand. Again, if you're wondering about video viewing time, the average UK person watches just over four and a half hours of video per day and the average Millennial just under three and a half hours.


To be fair, tv's dominance does seem less impressive when focus is honed in on Millennials. They're still watching live tv -- down from a 60% average to 40% -- and they're watching comparable proportion of playback and broadcaster VOD.


The big difference is that Millennials are watching nearly three times as much subscription video on demand, at 11.4% compared to a 4% average.

They're also spending more than three times the national average time on YouTube, with nearly 16% of the video consumption compared to the average of 6.4%.

Facebook is slightly up for Millennials, but there is not a major increase, and other online video is actually down.


So the big difference for Millennials is very clear; 

They're watching a lot more video on Netflix and YouTube than the national average -- but even so, more than half of their video viewing is live tv, playback or broadcaster VOD.

Throw in Netflix and you're talking nearly 60% of a Millennial's video consumption.


To recap, there are differences in consumption, but television is far and away the clear winning channel in both tv consumption and video advertising consumption.

Nothing comes close to the medium that is so easily written off by digital ninjas.


The likely reason is very simple. YouTube is there, generally, for short-form video, and has the magic "skip ad" button.

Television, on the other hand, is long form and commands the biggest amount of attention, by far, and accounts for the vast majority of video advert consumption. 

So the next time you hear tv is dead you can retort, "how come it gets 94% of video advertising time and around four-fifths of video consumption?"

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