Latest Posts

RSS

Why Apple’s Tim Cook is wrong about TV

It has been a while since someone at the top of a big global tech firm has said something ridiculous about TV. Thankfully, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has noticed this and taken one for the team by claiming TV is ‘stuck back in the 70s’.

Ignoring the breath-taking pace of change in TV technology in recent years and perhaps sensing there was too much balanced and informed discussion about TV, he said this:

“TV is one of those things, that if we’re really honest, it’s stuck back in the 70s. When you go into your living room to watch your TV, or wherever it might be, it almost feels like you’re rewinding the clock and you’ve entered a time capsule and you’re going backwards. The interface is terrible… You watch things when they come on, unless you remember to record them.”

Leaving aside the fact that Mr Cook appears not to have heard of on demand TV, let’s actually think about the 1970s for a moment. Back then, the furniture in my living room faced an analogue black and white TV set with a tiny screen and a huge arse, all of 3 channels to choose from, a dodgy signal when the weather was bad, no epg, no ability to record TV and we had to stand up and walk over to the set to change channels.

Today, my living room furniture – like most people’s – faces a large HD flatscreen TV with superb sound and 100s of channels to choose from. It is 100% digital and connected to a computerised hard drive (in my case Sky, but you can choose from Virgin Media, Freeview, Freesat, TalkTalk, BT TV…) that gives me unprecedented control over what I watch. I also have the ability to watch all sorts of TV content on other devices – largely delivered by the internet – or interact with the main set via other connected devices.

I’d say that’s quite a bit of change.

Of course, lots of things haven’t changed since the 1970s. For example, despite the enormous amount of technological development and new things we can spend our precious time with, people continue to spend far more of their leisure time watching TV than doing anything else; the vast majority of it live. It’s as true now as it was when I was worshipping Donny Osmond. So rather than assuming this is ‘stuck’, isn’t it better to ask why this might be? Maybe TV has a timeless quality that people like.

Are books stuck in the 1800s? Is cinema stuck in the 1950s? Is radio languishing in the inter-war years? No. The core way people enjoy all these things, and TV, has remained the same whilst technology has improved the experience. Mr Cook is missing the point, unless human behaviour is also stuck in the 1970s.

People get TV wrong when they allow their excitement about the potential of technology to eclipse their understanding of the fundamentals of human behaviour. TV is at its heart a social, communal activity. People generally like to watch it at the same time as other people because it’s more fun that way. It offers unrivalled simple, easy enjoyment. What people want is great quality content and the choice of how and when to watch. They have that now. They certainly didn’t have it in the 1970s.

Everything can be improved – few companies are better at improving things than Apple and I’d be very interested to see what they might do with the TV set – but this just sounds like yet another technologist thinking that more and more functionality will make TV viewers happier. Yet the only clamour for this change seems to be coming from tech companies who assume that the only thing people want is what they’re selling.

It isn’t about TV being stuck, it is about the fact that tech giants from Google to Microsoft have woken up to the fact that watching TV remains hugely popular and is extremely resilient. Everybody wants to be the gatekeeper in TV to cream off some of the value created by the people who invest in content and Apple is no different.

Fair weather is not TV’s friend

It was January 1989, I was 9 years old and it was cold (the average temperature that January was 5.8 degrees Celsius). Playing with my Christmas presents – the ThunderCats ‘Cat’s Lair’ I think – I had no idea that miles away there was a mysterious organisation called BARB and that it was publishing an analysis of how the weather affects television viewing (it was titled ‘How the weather affects television viewing’ - you’ll need to subscribe to Warc to read it I’m afraid).

Little did I know back then the role that BARB would come to play in my life. For now I research TV and with all the marvellous weather we’ve been enjoying recently, I thought another look at how – to borrow a phrase – the weather affects television viewing might be interesting. Especially given how much TV has evolved over the last three decades.

Good weather is good news for our tans but not so for our telly. For when the sun is shining people – not unreasonably I admit – stay indoors less and so watch less TV. Ofcom also noted this in its recent Communications Market Report. Thankfully though people can take telly with them outdoors these days, but we don’t yet have figures to show if sunshine leads to more mobile TV viewing. I would guess it might.

But we do have figures to show that sunshine leads to less TV set viewing, and the fact that this year has seen such lovely weather is one of the reasons why linear TV viewing has been a bit lower. The chart below plots average monthly temperatures against TV viewing:
TV and average temperatures

As you can see, there’s a pretty clear relationship, although I offer this with a caveat as Thinkbox is always at great pains to point out the distinction between correlation and causality. We know umbrellas don’t cause rain, but there is a strong correlation between their use and it raining. This chart is a correlation, although common sense suggests that watching less TV doesn’t make it warmer, whereas it being warmer might make you watch less TV.

Of course the weather is not the only thing that influences how much linear TV we watch; there are many other factors which affect it, such as digital switchover and the host of new channels it gave people, which increased it, and on-demand viewing, which is probably replacing a tiny bit of it.

And there is also another form of climate which has an influence: the economic climate. Last month, GfK NOP’s UK Consumer Confidence Index nudged into a positive figure for the first time in nine years. Things are on the up and this is obviously fantastic news for the nation and fantastic news for advertisers as they are advertising to audiences who are better equipped to spend. But it isn’t such fantastic news for TV viewing levels because when people have more money in their pockets they go out more. In the mood for charts, I created this one plotting consumer confidence with TV viewing:

TV and consumer confidence

People watch TV for many reasons: to share experiences, to be entertained, to learn and to connect with the world. However it is worth remembering TV broadcasters can make the highest quality, most entertaining programmes, and viewers can invest in incredible kit that makes the TV viewing experience extraordinary, but if the weather’s nice and you have money in your pocket you are likely to go out more and watch a bit less TV. That’s just life. Although, let’s not get too worried if people watch a little less TV a day; TV remains by far the medium people want to spend the most time with whatever the weather – half our media day according to the latest IPA Touchpoints data. So let’s finish with that chart:

Touchpoints media day 2014

Advertising’s dirty laundry

This week’s story that the NPA (Newspaper Publishers’ Association) has served notice on the NRS (National Readership Survey) shows just how contentious and traumatic it is ensuring that our media research systems keep up with the tide of technological development. Rumour has it that the rift has been caused by frustrations over the pace of reform. It’s hard for collaborative JICs to meet perfectly the agenda of each of their diverse stakeholders but it’s worth trying. I’m sure all parties involved regret that they are now effectively washing their dirty laundry in public. But at least they have their hands in the sink and I am sure it will all end up smelling of roses.

Contrast that to certain online drawers. It seems some real-time fibbing has been going on. The automated online emperor is definitely not wearing those new clothes; he has been caught with his pants down and they are looking decidedly soiled.

I refer to the revelations of the nefarious practices and rampant fraud in online advertising. If you’ve missed it, this piece from the Financial Times will bring you up to speed. Or this very frank blog from the Ad Contrarian. In a nutshell, ComScore figures show that over a third of web traffic comes from bots or other ‘non-human’ activity and that most online display advertising appears in places where it can’t actually be seen by anyone.

There is a nasty momentum building. Our cousins at the IAB – who do great work on behalf of us all – have an unenviable job on their hands keeping the murkier online waters from contaminating the squeaky clean areas where advertisers can safely frolic. Something needs to be done before the internet’s pants become impossible to clean. Without some sort of JIC this will be tricky; the onus will be entirely on agencies to impose much higher standards of cleanliness on those dodgy online owners and trading desks.

All of this should make us very thankful to have BARB. Broadcasters are driving change within BARB in collaboration with advertiser and agency bodies, but while maintaining the highest standards and reliability we’ve come to expect. BARB is moving as fast as possible to embrace new technologies – including watching TV via web and mobile – and new viewing behaviours; it will remain the gold standard JIC. They’ve created this film to explain what they’re doing. TV’s pants are clean and very resolutely raised thanks to the laundry skills and strong elastic of BARB maintaining our dignity.

BARB is a beacon for trust and I hope that the wider online industry can reach its own level of BARB-quality measurement. It is in every medium’s interest that brands – and consumers – don’t lose any more trust in the internet and the various forms of online advertising. Facebook’s emotional snooping, the (mis)handling of our data, irritating and irrelevant re-targeting, malicious software, paying for fictional consumers… all of these practices threaten to damage not just the villains but also the many honourable media sellers online, including TV companies.

 

 

Is Kim Kardashian programmatically buying native advertising?

I saw Kim Kardashian recently in Cannes. We were in the same restaurant. I was dining on truffled lobster and gulping down champagne surrounded by an entourage of fawning admirers, publicists and stylists; she was having the set menu with some brand managers and the receptionist from a digital agency poor love. She waved apparently.

But I won’t bore you with tales of Kim and me. Instead I want to share with you something I heard recently that I found thoroughly depressing. A marketing journalist told me that the stories that get the most traffic on the website they write for are consistently the ones about programmatic buying or native advertising.

After some Prozac I wondered why this is so. Can there be that much to know about algorithmic buying and advertorials? And why aren’t marketers desperate solely to read about sexy, exciting things like advertising effectiveness and TV or, say, TV and advertising effectiveness? Too much to ask probably.

Anyway, it struck me that there must be so many articles being pumped out and read about programmatic buying and native advertising because no one is really sure yet what to say or do about them; no one has pinned either down to everyone’s satisfaction. I’m not sure everyone even agrees on the definitions.

Marketers are constantly being told this or that will change everything and uncertainty can breed anxiety. You need to look clued up on the next big thing. Clearly not everyone is; I have heard several senior marketing directors stand on stages and admit they haven’t a clue about what programmatic is or means to them.

If in doubt, turn to effectiveness if you want to know what to do with your marketing budgets. It is always a good antidote to uncertainty.

Anyway, I thought I would use my new insight into the topics that marketers want to read about to create the unashamed clickbait gold of my headline. I wouldn’t be surprised if Brand Republic’s servers crash under the feverish interest. But, if it manages to survive the increase in traffic, I’m sorry to break it to you that, like most headlines posing a question, the answer is no and you don’t find out until near the end of the piece.

I learned at our recent Big Think @ BAFTA event that the most effective clickbait headlines inspire curiosity. You deserve some sort of reward for allowing your curiosity to lead you to read this far. So, if you can tear yourself away from reading articles about programmatic buying and native advertising then I hope you will find these sessions from BAFTA equally, if not more, insightful: Ian Leslie on curiosity; Laurence Green, Richard Eyre and Verica Djurdjevic talking about real time data; and Sir John Hegarty and Peter Fincham talking about creativity (all can be watched here at 2 mins 22 secs, 30 mins 30 secs and 2 hrs 3 mins).

Kim might have been at Big Think, but I didn’t see her. She should have waved.

World Cup flexes TV’s global muscles

One of the reasons why Thinkbox works closely with our cousins in TV around the world is because we like collecting Air Miles and trying different cuisines because the companies that most often try to knock telly or to nibble its lunch are global companies. They often try to do so with audience figures, bandying global figures around, which, at first glance, look impressive. TV rarely thinks globally and almost never acts globally.

A good example of this was when Felix Baumgartner downed a can of Red Bull and leapt from space. It was famously streamed live on YouTube and watched simultaneously by 8 million people globally. Globally. The media collectively downed a can of Kool Aid and heralded it as a turning point in the way we consume content.

It was ridiculous. We had reports comparing the 8 million YouTube streams to UK TV show audiences, completely forgetting that this was comparing global with national figures. Egta – the trade body for European TV (and radio) sales houses – looked at how many people watched it live on TV. They got as far as 60 million after looking at some of Europe and stopped counting.

So it is important that telly flexes its global muscles when it can and the World Cup is the perfect showcase – even if it isn’t exactly the perfect showcase of English football’s prowess.

The final could well reach a global audience of a billion. And let’s get this into context. That is not the reported 1 billion+ Facebook users that have opened an account or the Gangnam Style video which took two years to reach two billion views on YouTube. This is a billion individuals watching the same thing at the same time.

But we’re not at the final yet, so here – to put the global joy of the World Cup on TV in perspective – are some figures collated from around the world showing how beautifully it has gone so far:

* 11.5 million Dutch viewers (88.4%) watched their national team’s victory over Chile: 10.2 million at home and 1.3 million in public places.
* A record number of 42.9 million Brazilians tuned in to see their team’s win over Croatia. 81.3% of Croatians watched the game (1.5 million).
* The Belgium – South Korea game was the most watched football game in the history of Belgian television, reaching 3 million Flemish fans (82.8% of TV viewers) and 2.1 million of French speaking Belgians (82.1%).
* A peak of 20 million (71% share) watched England v Uruguay in the UK, the highest peak audience on any channel since the 2012 London Olympics.
* 27.3 million (84.2%) viewers in Germany tuned in to watch Germany defeat the US.
* 15.3 million Italians (82%) watched the game between England and Italy.
* Greek viewership peaked at 81.3% audience share for Greece’s win over Ivory Coast.
* 68.5% of Spanish viewers (11.2 million) caught the game in which their national team was defeated by Holland.
* The French victory over Honduras scored 56.3% audience share in France or 15.9 million viewers, amongst whom 1 million saw the game on digital platforms
* Even in countries such as Sweden, where the national team didn’t qualify, 2.64 million viewers (48% audience share) watched Brazil-Mexico.
* The US’s first game drew more than 11 million viewers – the highest-rated football match ever shown on ESPN – and nearly 5 million on a Spanish-language network.
* The 8am start of Australia’s match against Chile still didn’t discourage 2.3 million Australians from watching the game.

Word of mouth is like the final click

Attending the Cannes Media Festival from your desk isn’t fun. Instead of enjoying a glass of something pink and chilled and rubbing shoulders with stars of stage and art direction you are viewing a tweeting frenzy full of clickbait hyperbole and Tony Robbins style soundbites. Be brave, you need to fail to succeed, unleash your originality…

But witnessing Cannes from your desk is made all the less enjoyable when it is used to launch a piece of nonsense research and you have to watch it pin-balling round Twitter while – to misquote Churchill – the truth is still looking for its pants, let alone putting them on.

The research is by the lovely people at Google and its central claim is that word of mouth has the biggest impact on purchase decisions, not media. It was an online survey and it came up with a top 10 points of influence on buying decisions. They were:

1. Word of mouth
2. Retailers and store visits
3. You Tube
4. Twitter
5. Company/brand websites
6. Facebook
7. Pinterest
8. Newspapers and magazines
9. TV and movies
10. Search

Does this strike you as odd? It should do. In fact it should strike you as pointless because it exists in a make-believe world where word of mouth happens in a vacuum.

Most people don’t spontaneously recommend a washing detergent or a sports brand or a retailer without having experienced it in some way first. So what about the influences on word of mouth? Well, all the other nine in the top ten are influences on word of mouth to a greater or lesser extent.

Also, it is very strange that – with all the time and effort we’ve spent understanding the psychology of brands, long-term memory encoding and heuristics, measuring behaviour from panels to brain scans – Google should commission an online survey asking people what they think influences them. We know people can’t answer this truthfully or with meaningful self-awareness.

Rather hilariously, one of the quotes used in Google’s write-up of the research is “YouTube is one of the best places to go online to watch in-action videos of vehicles I am considering buying”. Those are my italics.

None of us would deny that word of mouth is important but we all need to understand what drives it, and we know that paid media, TV in particular, is crucial. Word of mouth is not the first stop on the consumer journey. We’re well beyond giving credit to the final click; Google, better than most, understands that what happens offline drives behaviour online. It should apply the same understanding to word of mouth.

I need a pint of something pink and chilled.

Under exposed

I do love media measurement. Now, I can guess the image of me you might have after I launch into a statement like that, but I can console myself that there are literally tens of others like me in our industry that are earning a crust out of excitement for the way we measure what media the country is consuming. If we researchers can do that and still maintain our tough guy image then we are winners.  And it’s a tough job as the UK public isn’t making it easy. They are always up to new stuff and never seem to have enough time to just…well…be researched.

And it is with this faith in my peers that I wanted to applaud the IAB and their efforts at further refining the definition of an online ad exposure. Nobody wants to pay for ads that could not possibly have been seen and, as David Ellison from ISBA has noted, it begins to move online ads closer to and make them comparable with other media that offer the ‘opportunity to see’ as the basis of an ad measurement currency (this view from Rob Norman at GroupM is also worth a read – it is about the ‘ugly sisters of digital media’: viewability and fraud).

But it did get me thinking (I was already thinking, obviously, but it got me doing extra thinking on top of that). It got me thinking about the standard measures of consumption across all media. The definitions for someone consuming each media are simple:

 

- TV: present in the room with the set switched on and the meter pressed for at least 31 seconds of the clock minute.

- Press: read or looked at a copy of the publication for two or more minutes during the publication period.

- Radio: listened for at least five minutes during a fifteen minute period.

- Cinema: been present in the auditorium.

- Outdoor: eyes on panel

 

However, when you then want to look specifically at advertising exposure you quickly unearth a complicated and vastly different set of approaches, definitions and methodology.

We would all agree that the approach should be different. Seeing an ad at the cinema as you tuck into your kids’ popcorn is not the same as a seeing one whilst flicking through the pages of your morning paper. Watching the break that sits in between your Sunday night TV drama is never going to be the same as seeing a promoted ad in between your mate’s holiday photos on your Facebook timeline. The measurements we have developed are designed to take care of specific media behaviour and give us timely trend data to assess our performance.

It is of course important to see a full consumer-centric view of media consumption and tools like the IPA’s TouchPoints give us the capability to model how these audiences use multiple media in their lives.  But I don’t think we should get too obsessed with how the ad consumption overlaps each other or not. Incremental ad reach is useless if the ad exposure is not having the desired or appropriate effect on the consumer.

But there is one unified metric we should all look at before we do any planning at all. It is the one metric that is comparable and doesn’t need to be changed for each type of ad media consumption. Of course I’m talking about sales and profit. This is the fruit of all our labours; the result of putting the right ad investment into the best performing ad exposures no matter how they are defined by us analytical types. Have a look and see for yourself.

Enders: the world as we (really) know it

There I was; Friday afternoon at Media360. I’d made it through the panel session on programmatic buying, the greased pig of the marketing world (just as you think you’ve grasped what it is and why everyone seems so excited about it, it’s slipped away to go snuffling for automated, real-time truffles). My mind was full after two days of wonderful content. The end was now in sight but would I make it? Did I have room for more?

Turns out I did, because the end was the excellent Claire Enders, and she chose to close the conference with a refreshing and revitalising reminder of reality.

She urged advertisers to remember that consumers have a ‘multi-layered existence’ composed of many different media and that despite the excitement about opportunities around mobile and online, ‘traditional’ media – the likes of TV, print and radio – were thriving and dominate people’s media consumption. Here’s the chart she showed:

Slide1

Enders made many astute and interesting points – such as how increased online activity is potentially bad news for advertisers because many of the places people spend much of their online time are not great environments for advertising. Morty blogged recently about the rarely mentioned fact that half of (non-TV) online video time is spent with adult material.

Obviously, when online environments are high quality and trusted, then great. But there is a limited amount of premium space and an infinite amount of the rest.

The point that struck home the most however was about targeting the demographic with the most money. Marketers are so often obsessed with youth when they should be more interested in wealth. Enders identified people over 45 years old (Generation X and the Baby Boomers) as ‘Generation Wealth’. These are the people who both have the most money and spend the most – women in particular.

Whenever I hear nice stats about my demographic, I’m always smug and delighted for myself, but terrified for my kids. Anyway…

Enders informed us that over 45s own 81% of the UK’s total assets, they have 70% of the disposable income and they are responsible for 61% of consumer expenditure. They also actively switch brands and services, rather than the clichéd view that they are settled with what they are used to.

This is a theme that Bob Hoffman, the brilliant Ad Contrarian blogger in the US, is very keen on. In fact he’s so keen on it that he’s recently set up an ad agency that specifically targets the over 50s as he believes they are a wildly neglected demographic given their spending power. In the UK, Robert Campbell has recently launched High50, a community for the over 50s, who it describes as ‘the most economically powerful, culturally significant, desired and desirable generation on earth’.

So, the message was clear: spend more effort on the demographic with the means. And those means brought us to the end.

(On the topic of spending, it would be negligent of me not to point you towards the econometric beauty of Payback 4, the new effectiveness study by Ebiquity which we launched yesterday. Lots of robust proof that investing in advertising works.)

Feel nothing, say nothing

I sat at my desk recently and, feeling extremely modern and connected, ‘attended’ a webinar called ‘Feel nothing, say nothing’. If nothing else, it took my mind off my very strong feelings about the nightmare at the Theatre of Dreams – although things are looking up now. It also combined two areas I find fascinating: the role of emotion in advertising and how people socially interact about brands.

The webinar showcased research combining work by consumer conversation experts Keller Fay and BrainJuicer, the consultancy which promises to turn human understanding into business advantage. Their research is full of insights we should all bear in mind. Here are some of the highlights:

Online conversation is the tip of an iceberg
90% of all brand conversations take place offline and 82% take place face to face. Only 2% of brand conversations happen via social media. This is not an impression you’d necessarily get given the hype around what social media can do for brands.

The good news for brands is that 62% of all conversation about them tends to be positive. In case you were wondering, the research found that the UK’s most talked about category is food and drink and the most talked about brand is Tesco.

People talk online for a different reason
Brainjuicer/Keller Fay found that the number one reason why people talk about brands online is for social signalling. However, the main reason people talk about brands offline – where the vast majority of conversation takes place – is for emotional sharing.

I found this point really interesting, but it makes sense when you think about how people often behave online to try and create idealised versions of themselves. It is harder to do that in real life, face to face, warts and all. It begs the question of whether online conversations about brands have as much integrity or honesty as offline, emotionally-driven conversations. I don’t have the answer to that – maybe more research for Keller Fay.

Emotion = word of mouth
There is a growing body of evidence about the importance of emotion in advertising. We have known for a while that emotions are central to brand success, not least from the work that Les Binet and Peter Field have done examining the IPA databank which shows emotional campaigns to be more effective than rational ones in creating large business effects (like driving sales and profit) and that nothing creates emotion like TV.

The Brainjuicer/Keller Fay research adds a valuable new layer to our knowledge of emotional influence, and the fact that emotional sharing is the main reason for brand word of mouth helps to explain why TV is so good at creating it.

The webinar also looked at the correlation between different emotions (happiness, anger, disgust etc.) and word of mouth. It showed that there was very little correlation in fact. However there was a significant correlation between neutrality (i.e. not feeling any emotion) and not talking (no word of mouth). You’ve got to get people to feel something.

And Brainjuicer/Keller Fay looked at the strength of the emotion and whether this correlated with word of mouth. Generally the two did correlate; the more a brand elicited emotion, the more it was talked about. The most emotional brands are on average talked about 3 times more than the least emotional. In fact no brand was talked about that didn’t create an emotional response.

So it is clear: if you want to make people talk about you, you need to fire their emotions somehow (and, ahem, there is a form of advertising that is proven to do this better than anything else). Or fire David Moyes.

Total video time in UK is 5 hours a day…unless you know different

I’m breaking my own rule: normally I only blog about one chart a year and this year’s chart was this bobby-dazzler. But sometimes a chart gives me such a pleading, data-driven look that I can’t resist its charms.

Plus it took me bloody ages to do it.

This chart shows total time spent watching video in all its different forms in UK, based on the best full year figures available for 2013:

Slide1

The chart draws on the figures from BARB, ComScore, Route, IMDB, Rentrak, FAME, DCM, and TV Broadcaster data. It also includes some estimates for out of home video screens (pubs, underground stations, dentists…). The 5 hours a day is the average across the whole UK adult population including non-users of these different forms of video. We wanted to get an idea of the average person’s video consumption.

You’ll notice some interesting things in the figures. Linear TV is three quarters of the total video time (all TV is video but not all video is TV). ‘Adult’ video (i.e. porn) is a staggering half of all non-TV online video time, according to Comscore figures.

I’ve created this chart in response to the questions we always get asked when we publish the TV viewing figures. People want to know where TV sits in the video universe, as video of all sorts of flavours – and, let’s be honest, quality – proliferates.

But I also created it to start the ball rolling. I had a go because the calculation had not been done before as far as I am aware. I would like to stress that I am in no way saying this is the definitive answer. I’ve tried to be as exhaustive as possible and cover as many different types of video as I could think of.

Here’s what’s in there, if anything is missing please let me know…

The first and biggest bit (75.3%) is easy: 3 hours 52 minutes a day of rigorously BARB-measured linear TV. Timeshift and on demand watched within 7 days are in this number as well as live.

Then there is extra TV content watched on the TV set (5.5%) – things like 8-28 day timeshifting, any subscription VOD like Netflix and Lovefilm, and a bunch of what BARB calls ‘unmatched viewing’ which is simply stuff they haven’t got a reference for so it isn’t recognised and attributed to a channel. BARB measures all of this and we have been able to look at an overall figure for this viewing. But this viewing isn’t in the gold standard TV viewing numbers we report or part of the currency that the market trades on.

Then we have TV watched on other devices (1.1%). We know from broadcaster data that there is an average of three and half minutes a day of broadcast content watched on mobiles, laptops, PCs and tablets from things like ITV Player, BBC iPlayer, Sky Go, and 4OD.

Next, and still on the TV set, there is another chunk of activity that is measured by BARB but not reported in its total TV figure. This includes things like games console usage, plugging your PC into your TV, EPG activity that isn’t recognised as a channel, radio consumption through the TV screen and apps usage. This accounts for 3.4% of total video viewing. I know what you’re thinking; radio definitely isn’t ‘video’ – but I can’t isolate the audio only part of that number so I’m afraid it has to stay in there.

Then we leave the TV set and TV viewing and look at other screens. First is the biggest of them all: the cinema screen. This works out as 0.4% of the total.

Then we have online video (not including TV content), which splits into two roughly equal halves. ‘Adult’ video content adds up to 31 minutes per day on average, some 6.7% of the total. The rest of non-TV online video content – so everything from web/mobile  SVOD like Netflix and Blinkbox (i.e. proper TV and film) to videos on YouTube, Facebook and those embedded in publisher websites etc. – adds up to 33 minutes a day on average, 6.9% of the total.

Finally we move to less certain ground where I had to make educated estimates: out of home screens. I managed to get an indication about some of the actual video activity measured on outdoor from Route and some pub viewing stats from Sky, but I couldn’t get it all, obviously, so have estimated that the average person watches a video on those screens in total for about 2 minutes a day. I think, based on the figures I have seen, that that may be generous. But I’m just a generous kind of guy. Given this is mostly just video, not audio-video, you might also argue that this shouldn’t be part of the total because it’s more a moving poster than a TV-like medium.  But again, generosity rules.

So there you go: 5 hours of video a day – unless you know better, in which case let’s work together to find a more accurate number.

 

Latest jobs Jobs web feed