Linear commercial TV viewing reaches new high

The average amount of time spent watching linear commercial TV reached a new record in the first six months of 2011, although the increases in total TV viewing appear to be slowing.

TV viewing:  time spent watching linear commercial TV reaches new high
TV viewing: time spent watching linear commercial TV reaches new high

According to figures from the Broadcasters' Audience Research Board (Barb,) the average person watched a total of 28 hours, 21 minutes of linear TV every week, equivalent to four hours, three minutes a day.

The average TV viewer watched 18 hours and nine minutes of commercial linear TV every week, or two hours and 35 minutes a day during the first six months of 2011. This is an increase of 48 minutes a week, or seven minutes a day, from the same period in 2010.

Commercial TV accounted for 64% of viewing during the first six months of the year, up from 62% in the same period in 2010, while commercial impacts climbed 4.7% year on year to an average of 47 ads a day in the first half of 2011.

Lindsey Clay, managing director of commercial TV marketing body Thinkbox, said: "We've been saying for a while that linear TV viewing couldn’t keep breaking records forever and that it had to stabilise at some point.

"It appears that this is now happening – although, within this, commercial TV is still growing a little, which is great news for advertisers and a testament to the choice and quality it offer."

The Barb figures reveal time-shifted viewing is on the increase. Non-live, time-shifted viewing accounted for 9% of TV consumption from 1 January to the end of June 2011, up from 7.1% in the first six months of 2010.

Of those households that have a digital TV recorder, such as Sky+ or Freeview+, time-shifted viewing accounted for 14.7% of total viewing in the six months to 30 June 2011 – up from 13.7% in the first six months of 2010.

Clay said: "What is clear is that every new technology that joins TV – from connected TV sets to social media – is making it even more enjoyable for viewers and even more effective for advertisers."