TV Accounts for 94 Percent of Total Video Advertising Time

The average person in the UK watched 20 minutes of video advertising a day in 2016, with TV advertising accounting for 93.8 percent of that total, according to an analysis of video viewing data by Thinkbox, the UK TV industry’s marketing body. Thinkbox 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.

Other forms of video advertising break down as follows:

  • YouTube accounted for 0.7 percent of the video advertising that was seen in 2016, up from 0.5 percent in 2015
  • Other online video (including Facebook, for which specific data is unavailable) collectively accounted for 5.2 percent, up from 4.7 percent in 2015
  • Cinema accounted for 0.4%, the same proportion as in 2015

UK Video Advertising Time 2016


However, when it came to total video viewing, TV accounts for 74.8 percent of total video viewing, down from 76 percent 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.

Thinkbox’s definition of TV includes recorded TV and broadcaster VOD as well as live TV. And if you break down TV’s proportion of total video viewing, you:

  • Live TV: 60% of total video viewing (61.6% in 2015)
  • Playback TV (recorded and watched at a later time): 10.8% (11.4% in 2015)
  • Broadcaster VOD: 3.9% (3% in 2015)

Thinkbox also say their analysis showed that:

  • Subscription VOD services – including  Netflix and Amazon Prime – collectively accounted for 4.1%, compared with 4% in 2015
  • YouTube accounted for 6.4% of average video viewing in 2016, up from 4.4% in 2015
  • Online adult video accounted for 4.9% in 2016, compared with 4.4% in 2015
  • DVDs increased their share of video time from 2.9% in 2015 to 3.8% in 2016
  • Perhaps surprisingly, the analysis found that Facebook viewing dropped to 1.7%, down from 2.2% in 2015
  • Cinema was 0.4% in 2016, unchanged from 2015

TV Still Accounts for More than Half of Viewing for Young Adults

When it came to youth audiences, Thinkbox found that TV accounts for 56.4 percent of 16-24s’ viewing. This compares with 57.6% in 2015, and 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 saw major gains from 2015 to 2016, accounting for 15.6% of 16-24s’ video viewing in 2016, up from 10.3% 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% in 2015 to 2.5% in 2016. Other online video – including video found on newsbrands’ and magazine websites, other video services such as Vimeo, and the long tail of online video – shrank from 6.6% in 2015 to 2.5% in 2016.

When it came to ad consumption, Thinkbox found that 89.5 percent of video ad viewed were on TV. This compares with 88.6% 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% of 16-24s’ video ad viewing in 2016 (up from 1.3% in 2015); other online (including Facebook) was 7.6% (9.2% in 2015); and cinema was 1.1% (0.9% in 2015).

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

“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 have 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.”

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