Advanced Television

TV 94% of UK video advertising

March 9, 2017

Fresh analysis by Thinkbox – the marketing body for commercial TV in the UK – 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.

The analysis revealed TV accounts for 74.8 per cent of UK video viewing. This compares to 76 per cent 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 per cent of total video viewing (61.6 per cent in 2015)
  • Playback TV (recorded and watched at a later time): 10.8 per cent (11.4 per cent in 2015)
  • Broadcaster VoD: 3.9 per cent (3 per cent in 2015)

The analysis also shows that:

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

In terms of age demographics, TV accounts for 56.4 per cent of 16-24s’ video viewing. This compares with 57.6 per cent 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 per cent of 16-24s’ video viewing in 2016, up from 10.3 per cent 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 per cent in 2015 to 2.5 per cent in 2016. Other online video – including video found on news brands and magazine websites, other video services such as Vimeo, and the long tail of online video – shrank from 6.6 per cent in 2015 to 2.5 per cent in 2016.

The average person in the UK watched 20 minutes of video advertising a day in 2016. TV advertising accounted for 93.8 per cent (18 minutes, 53 seconds a day), compared with 94.4 per cent 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 per cent of the video advertising that was seen in 2016, up from 0.5 per cent in 2015
  • Other online video (including Facebook, for which specific data is unavailable) collectively accounted for 5.2 per cent, up from 4.7 per cent in 2015
  • Cinema accounted for 0.4 per cent, the same proportion as in 2015

TV accounts for 89.5 per cent of video ad viewing for 16-24s. This compares with 88.6 per cent 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 per cent of 16-24s’ video ad viewing in 2016 (up from 1.3 per cent in 2015); other online (including Facebook) was 7.6 per cent (9.2 per cent in 2015); and cinema was 1.1 per cent (0.9 per cent in 2015).

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

“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 has 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.”

Recently-released figures show that TV ad revenue in the UK totalled £5.28 billion in 2016, up 0.2 per cent 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 per cent on 2015, to become the largest category of advertisers on TV.

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