How are our television viewing habits changing?

How are our television viewing habits changing?

Since the outbreak of coronavirus in the UK, and the following government restrictions, TV viewing has increased by 24%, according to BARB.

Viewing figures increase across the board

Television viewing year-on-year is up across every age from 15-75+ years however, younger audiences have seen the biggest increases with the largest jump with those aged 16-24 years old (+65%). 26-34 year olds and 35-44 year olds have increased by 51% and 44% respectively (Sky).

Daytime television commute

When we compare pre and post lockdown, ‘working hours’ during weekdays have seen the biggest levels of growth overall, with daytime (0600-1859) growing +16% and lunchtime (1200-1359) growing +31% overall (ITV).

Man Holding Remote Control

Sharing is caring (and good news for advertisers too)

Our viewing habits are changing across the board. BARB data shows that shared TV viewing (multiple people watching one TV) has grown by 37% since lockdown began, versus a 15% increase in watching TV alone.

We looked into the increase in shared viewing and the benefits for advertisers in a previous blog . Shared viewing is a positive experience and broadcaster-video-on-demand (BVOD) Platforms such as ITV Hub, All 4, 5oD) delivers a highly ‘absorbed’ viewing situation, something which produces greater happiness and engagement with the content. This in turn can have a halo effect on the brands investing in BVOD and result in them being viewed in a more positive light, and with greater brand impact

Viewers return to nostalgic TV moments

There are also been a resurgence in nostalgic viewing as people try to ‘escape from reality’ through light-hearted entertainment. This has been reflected in the viewing numbers.  Since the start of lockdown, for example, viewing of Only Fools and Horses on Gold is up 20% since last year and Last of the Summer Wine on Drama is up 30% versus 2019.

This is also reflected in Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway on ITV – the first episode without a live audience on 21 March was watched by 9.89 million overnight viewers – their highest ever!

Only Fools and Horses | Gold

Hungry for news

It is also no surprise that TV news has seen increases in viewing figures too as people seek out information and re-assurance. Viewing of TV news content increased by 124% during the first three weeks of lockdown, according to BARB. 

The Prime Minister’s lockdown announcement on 23 March made TV history, viewed by over 27million people across 6 channels.

Coronavirus updates: 'You must stay at home' UK public told - BBC News

How can we help you?

The Media Angel can help with your marketing campaigns, whether you have used TV before, or if it’s your first time!

We can help chose the most appropriate channels, locations, and programmes to attract your target audience. TV can be more affordable than you think.

Get in touch with our friendly team today, [email protected]

Tags: television viewing habits, television viewing, tv, tv viewing, coronavirus, home, ITV, All 4, Sky, BBC News, tv figures.