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Online BBC viewing: it’s less than you think

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The latest newsletter from entertainment advisors Attentional – who are respected experts in the field of TV audience rating analysis – supplies some surprising data about what they believe to be the true levels of online viewing in the UK.

In particular, Attentional reckons that the average viewer spends only three minutes and twenty seconds a week watching BBC content on the Internet – not what one would expect given the amount of publicity generated by the public service broadcaster about the rapid increase in the number of iPlayer downloads and streams.

Using figures from Comscore, Attentional has worked out that the average person in the UK spent just 2h17m a week in total watching online video content last September, against 26h13m watching a TV set.

On this analysis, YouTube turns out to be the biggest online video player in the UK, accounting for 34 minutes of weekly Internet viewing on average – ten times the BBC figure (which equates to just 1% of the time the average UK viewer spends watching BBC1).

For broadcasters and operators, the figures represent a salutary reality-check: an analysis based on an impressive number of ‘downloads’ does not necessarily translate into a significant audience share; nor is there evidence of any imminent collapse in ‘traditional’ viewing.

Indeed, as more and more living-room TV displays become ‘connected’ – and able to match the convenience afforded by on-demand and catch-up viewing on PCs and laptops – it is conceivable that current levels of online viewing could eventually decline (although we should stress this is our suggestion, rather than Attentional’s).

This entry was posted on Friday, February 25th, 2011 at 4:15 pm and is filed under Industry News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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