2017 marked a greater convergence in TV, Internet and video usage in France, according to data from meadia reaserch group Médiamétrie. Still rising, these usages complete and add to each other. In 2017, Internet and catch-up screens represented 8.7 per cent of daily individual viewing time in France. Although OTT and SVoD complete the landscape and offer these markets new perspectives, they also represent a form of competition. In order to accompany all these changes in the market, Médiamétrie further enriched its 4-screen TV audience measurement with even more new players and a first OTT platform. It will become the reference measurement on the French market by 2020.
Julien Rosanvallon, Médiamétrie’s Head of Digital and TV Department commented: “To date, there is no substitution between TV & Internet; on the contrary, digital favours market additions. However, we are entering a new phase of development in TV, digital & video. Although these new TV/Video usages are still emerging, they are already very important among young people. Before seeing in this the sign of a generational transformation, it is necessary to take account of many factors that put our country in a unique situation: indeed, France is one of the few countries in Europe with a TV viewing time that remains at a high level. It is definitely a new version of our cultural exception”.
TV – Internet: A market addition
In 2017, on average, each French person watched television on a TV set for 3 hours and 42 minutes every day. They also spent 1 hour and 23 minutes every day on the Internet. Television and the Internet continue to progress and viewers know how to get the most out of them in order to organise their growing consumption of programmes on all their screens. In 2017, Internet and catch-up screens represented 8.7 per cent of daily individual viewing time (IVT) (3 hours 51 minutes on the 4 screens), namely 43 per cent more in 2 years.
In the space of 25 years, the TV experience has changed a great deal, bringing daily viewing time up to a high level (almost a 25-minute increase over the past 20 years).
The first change concerns equipment, with increasingly large, good quality and connected TVs; in 2017, 60.1 per cent of households were equipped with smart TVs, namely 8.2 points more than 3 years ago, or 88.6 per cent of households equipped with HD TVs (+ 7 points compared to 2014).
Reception also plays an important role in the new ways of watching TV. The major increase in connections via multimedia boxes (unique in the World) ensures access to catch-up services, a usage that, every day, attracts about 6 million viewers, 1 million of whom on mobile screens.
Internet screens also contribute greatly to this transformation in TV audiences, currently with about 40 per cent of households equipped with 4 screens. Screens that, every day, attract about 5 million individuals out of the 44.4 million daily viewers all screens combined.
And proof that the Internet also supplies TV and offers new opportunities: each day, 20 per cent of French people who do not have a TV watch programmes on a computer, a tablet or a smartphone. A figure that stands at about 30 per cent for 15-24 year olds.
The era of OTT
Today, 91 per cent of French people’s daily TV + Video time is devoted to watching television programmes. Is the emergence of OTT platforms and SVoD that offer original content at attractive prices going to transform the market?
Although in 2017, about 3 million French people had an OTT multimedia box and 20 per cent used SVoD, these new proposals do not contradict one another and they are even proving to be complementary with TV channel offerings. These Internet video and SVoD usages now represent slightly less than 10 per cent of TV + Video consumption.
These usages are increasingly important for the very youngest who are leaving home at an increasingly late age and are keen mobile screen content consumers: 15-24 year olds devote slightly more than 30 per cent to this daily TV + Video time.
A viewer’s day in 2017
Between 6 am and 9 am every day, 10 million viewers watch TV. Their favourite programmes? Cartoons for the youngest watched either pre-recorded or via catch-up, and live reviews. But, in this election year, the news particularly attracted morning viewers: about 3.5 million of them watched a news channel every day between 6 am and 9 am from April to June 2017, namely 4.5 per cent more than a year earlier.
From 9 am to 2 pm, reviews and news took top place with an audience peak at 1.13 pm attracting 13.5 million viewers, in particular for the TV news.
But, on this time segment, 2017 was marked by an event which, for the middle of the day, attracted an unprecedented number of viewers: more than 23 million people devoted at least 5 minutes, between 9.30 am and 3.30 pm, to the tribute to Johnny Hallyday.
In the afternoon, dramas made their entry alongside reviews. Major sports events continue to attract many viewers for live programmes, especially at weekends.
Every day, prime time access from 6.30 pm to 8.45 pm attracts 30.7 million viewers for news and drama. Time-shifted viewing and Internet screens are particularly popular on this time segment, especially for series, the varied consumption methods of which can now contribute substantially to the total audience.
Cinema and drama are the most watched genres during prime time from 8.45 pm to 10.30 pm. Series were extremely popular in 2017, boosted by 20 per cent of new programmes and many French creations among the top programmes.
Electoral evenings attracted a great many viewers: 16.4 million for the debate between the two rounds in addition to which the 253,000 viewers on Internet screens.
After 10.30 pm, live reviews and dramas attracted the 24.4 million viewers seated in front of their TV sets. There were still more than 8 million at midnight.