Total TV advertising revenue in the UK increased by 2.2 per cent in 2011 to reach a new record high of £4.36 billion (€5.22bn), according to full year revenue figures provided to Thinkbox – the marketing body for commercial TV in the UK – by the UK commercial TV broadcasters.
TV advertising is expected to have outperformed the total UK advertising market in 2011, which is believed to have grown by approximately 1.5 per cent. This means that linear TV’s share of total advertising will have increased for the fourth consecutive year. The TV revenue figures represent revenue for linear TV spot advertising and sponsorship
Tess Alps, Thinkbox’s Chief Executive, described figures as an encouraging performance by commercial TV, especially as it followed the market-leading 16 per cent revenue growth seen in 2010 and was achieved during uncertain economic times. “The strength of linear TV advertising investment reflects commercial TV’s record viewing and the further acknowledgement by advertisers of the evidence of its unrivalled ability to create business profit. And it’s worth noting that, in addition to these revenues, TV is also driving one of the fastest growing parts of online advertising through TVOD,” she observed.
There were 887 new or returning TV advertisers in 2011 (i.e. first use of TV or no TV advertising for at least five years). These included Google, Avios, Asics, Majestic Wine, and Unum. Together, new and returning advertisers accounted for 2.6 per cent of total TV ad revenues, according to Nielsen Media Research data.
Retail remained the top spending TV advertising category in 2011, according to Nielsen Media Research, increasing its investment by 2 per cent on 2010. This was followed by Entertainment and Leisure, which increased spend by 1 per cent, and Finance, which increased spend by 2 per cent. There were significant increases in TV ad spend in Telecoms (up 28.8 per cent), Travel and Transport (up 27 per cent), and in Comparison websites (up 21.5 per cent).
Thinkbox reports that TV viewing figures in the UK for 2011 equalled the record high set in 2010. The average viewer watched 4 hours, 2 minutes of linear TV a day in 2011 (28 hours, 14 minutes a week), according to figures from the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (BARB).
Commercial TV channels (i.e. non-BBC channels) were responsible for maintaining the record viewing level, accounting for 64 per cent of all linear TV viewing, an increase of 1.3 per cent points on 2010.
The increase in commercial TV viewing also meant an increase in the number of TV ads viewed. Commercial impacts (the number of ads watched at normal speed) during 2011 were up 2.6 per cent on 2010, and have grown by 19.6 per cent over the last five years to a new record high. The average viewer watched 47 ads a day during 2011.
According to Thinkbox, this strong performance underlines viewers’ preference for watching TV as it is broadcast and on a TV set whenever possible. The many new ways to watch TV via other screens such as laptops, tablets and smartphones are growing, and a welcome solution to out-of-home viewing, but they are not included in BARB’s figures and are not impacting on linear viewing, suggests Thinkbox.