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‘Are you still watching?’ Netflix viewers soar by 45% year-on-year reveals new IPA TouchPoints data

A dramatic 45% increase in Netflix viewers in the past year, alongside the growth of the Subscription Video of Demand category at large, is reinforcing television/video as the nation’s most popular medium, now watched by 99% of British adults for 4 hours and 41 minutes per day.

20/09/2018

These are just some of the significant findings announced today (12 September) through the launch of the comprehensive nationwide consumer and media database IPA TouchPoints 2018, which details how consumers are spending their daily lives and how their media consumption fits into this, providing invaluable insights for broadcasters, content creators and distributors.

Five key media consumption trends from the TouchPoints 2018 data highlight how we have become a nation of content seekers, particularly that which is delivered by screen:

1. British consumers are watching dramatically more Netflix than last year, and for longer, propelling the platform up the most watched rankings

Twenty-nine percent of all adults are now watching Netflix each week, which is up from 20% in 2017 and marks a 45% increase year-on-year.

These figures are almost double for 15-34-year-olds, where 54% of them are watching Netflix each week, up from 39% in 2017. This marks a 38% increase in viewers year-on-year.

Not only are more viewers turning on to Netflix, but Netflix viewers (ie of this 29% of all adults) are watching it for on average six minutes longer than in 2017, now for an average of 2hours 14 minutes per day each. Meanwhile 15-34s are watching it for 2hours 19 per day.

Similarly, the audience to Amazon Prime Video - a further SVoD platform - grew to 11.7% reach of adults, up from 8% in 2017 and 17% of 15-34s, up from 13% in 2017 and each week for 1 hour 51 minutes per day for all adults and 1 hour 48 minutes for 15-34 year-olds.

This surge in Netflix’s popularity has meant it has jumped up to 6th position of most watched channels for all adults, after BBC One, ITV/STV, Channel 4, BBC Two, and Channel 5. This is up eight positions from 2017 where Netflix was positioned at number 14, having overtaken Sky, Other BBC, Other Channel 4, YouTube, BBC Four, ITV2, Other ITV and E4.

For 15-34s Netflix has leapt from 6th position to second, following BBC One but overtaking ITV/STV, Channel4, YouTube and Sky.

Despite Amazon gaining more viewers, is has dropped position from 16th to 18th position between 2017 and 2018.

Chart 1: Weekly reach of GB television video content 2018 data - all adults

Chart 2: Weekly reach of GB television video content 2018 chart - 15-34 year olds

2. British consumers are watching significantly more SVoD channels in general than last year, fuelled by Netflix

The rise in Netflix viewing has driven the overall growth of the paid for on demand category (which includes Netflix, Amazon Prime, Now TV, Sky Store, itunes and Other) which is up from 30% to 37% in terms of viewers from 2017, marking a 23% percentage increase year-on-year.

Overall daily viewing of this category by all adults now stands at 2hrs 20 minutes, up from 2h 10 minutes y-o-y. Again, this increase is greater for the 15-34-year-olds recording a 63% weekly reach in 2018 from 48% in 2017 and up in terms of average daily viewing hours from 2hrs 20 in 2017 to 2hrs 24 in 2018.

Chart 3: Weekly Reach of Subscription Video on Demand (SVoD) Channels in 2018

3. British consumers are spending more time per day watching television/video than ever before

Ninety-nine percent of people are watching 4 hours and 41 minutes of television/video in general per day – a 2% increase from 2017 and for an average of 32 hours and 46mins each week – a year on year increase of 38mins.

The newer forms of watching television/video are steadily increasing their take-up with 68% of all adults now watching TV or video online each week, up from 64% in 2017, compared to 88% - from 84% in 2017 - of 15-34s.

4. British consumers are consuming more content in general, more concurrently, than ever before across a range of channels, platforms and devices. Meanwhile sleep patterns remain constant.

British consumers are now consuming more content than ever before across a range of channels, platforms and devices - consuming 8 hours and 11 minutes of all media (television, radio, social networking/messaging, internet, cinema and more) per day – a 3% increase year-on-year and 17% increase from 2005.

Coinciding, sleeping patterns for UK consumers remain fairly constant year-on-year, at 8 hours 47 minutes per night.

After television/video (99% reach / 4hrs 41 mins), OOH is the second largest medium, matching television on reach but with less hours exposure (99% / 3hrs 24mins). Radio/audio takes third place with a weekly reach of 91% and 3 average hours whilst social networking/messaging is now the fourth largest medium for adults with an 87% weekly reach and average daily hours usage of 3 hrs and 9mins.

For 15-34s, TV/video, OOH and social media/messaging are now all vying to be the most used medium. TV/video and OOH have marginally greater weekly reach at 99% compared to social media/messaging at 97% but social media/messaging is used for a longer time, that is, 4hours per day compared with 3hrs and 47mins for TV/video and 3hrs 22mins for OOH.

Given that people do not appear to be significantly cutting down on other activities, the bulk of this increase seems to be being absorbed by increases in the time that people spend multi-media tasking, that is, using more than one medium in any one half hour. Back in 2005, 79% of adults were consuming two or more media in the same half hour at some point during the week - this has now risen to 94% in 2018.

Adults now spend over 2 hours and 17 minutes a day (a 10-minute increase since 2017) media multi-tasking - that is just over a quarter of the time they spend consuming media in total. We are now so adept at media multi-tasking that 30% of all adults now spend an average of 52 minutes a day consuming more than three different media in any half hour.

Chart 4: Time spent consuming media by GB population in 2018, per day (NB not by reach)

5. British consumers are changing the way they watch television/video, with increase in on-demand viewing and slight decrease in live viewing

Television/video viewing covers an ever-growing number of categories these days from live TV broadcast at the time of viewing; catch up; SVoD; short form video, to recorded, online and streamed viewing etc. - all delivered on a wide range of devices.

Adults still spend two-thirds (67%) of their total TV/ video viewing time watching live television – down from 70% in 2017. For 15-34s, only 41% of their total viewing is live – down from 50% last year.

Non live TV/video viewing e.g catch-up, SVoD, video clips etc. now takes a 33% share of all adults’ video eye’ - up from 30% in 2017. This compares with the 59% share this form of viewing now takes of 15-34s total television/video viewing – up from 50% in 2017.

We are also a nation of binge watchers, with 52% of all television/video viewers stating that they binge watch episodes. This rises to 79% of all Netflix viewers stating that they binge watch television/video episodes.

The newer forms of viewing are also affecting the way we watch television and video with 68% of all adults now watching it online each week, up from 64% in 2017, compared to 88% - up from 84% in 2017 - of 15-34s.

The peak time for watching live TV during the week is between 8.30pm and 9.30 pm with 35% of adults tuning in on an average weekday night - this figure rises to 54% when all video services are added in.

What do these figures tell us?

Says IPA President Sarah Golding and CEO, The&Partnership:

“This data proves more than ever that we can’t underestimate the power of television in reaching consumers – not just in terms of the numbers of people watching but also in terms of how long we spend watching it. What is particularly apparent this year is the rise in popularity of SVoD channels fuelled by the success of Netflix.

“Netflix CEO Reed Hastings famously said last year that their biggest competitor is sleep and, looking at these figures, it is clear that he has a strong argument; there is a finite amount of time in one day, and while our sleep patterns remain fairly constant our media consumption habits continue to rise.

“Ultimately we’re all competing for this space – and so for advertising to get cut-through it is essential we concentrate on creating content that people want to engage with, tailored accordingly to the myriad of available channels and various devices.”

Says Belinda Beeftink, Deputy Research Director, IPA:

“The TouchPoints dataset provides a fascinating and comprehensive look at how we, as a nation, are spending our days and what is making us tick. The clear message from these media-related stats is that we are actively seeking out content – good content - via any platform, channel, and through any device. Particularly screen-based devices.

“The broadcast landscape is changing and the ways in which we all take content is changing too. All broadcasters are increasingly at the mercy of consumers’ daily habits, rather than consumers being at the mercy of the broadcasters’ scheduling decisions. In essence, it seems consumers would like to choose – and not to be told – when to tune in.”

For more information about TouchPoints please contact Belinda Beeftink or Dan Flynn.

Last updated 20/09/2018


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