The latest edition of One Television Year in the World, from Eurodata TV Worldwide, part of the Médiamétrie media research company, reviewed consumption of television and audience successes in more than 80 countries. It found this figure was one minute more than in 2011.
The overall increase was driven primarily by European viewers, who added a total of seven minutes to their daily viewing times, reaching 3 hours 55 minutes.
The nature of that viewing is changing as the trend to dual-screening spreads worldwide. The report stated that 81% of UK tablet owners used this screen while watching TV, a third of Brazilians and Chinese people watched while surfing on a social network, and, in France, one internet user in four commented on a programme they were watching.
And the second screen could help create content for the first screen, as web applications allow the mix of viewers' favourite formats to create a unique show. An an example of this is the Facebook app Your Show, which turns the user's news feed into a personalised daily show.
The report also pointed to other new directions which extend the TV experience beyond the immediate broadcast. Euronews, for example, broadcasts a six-second mini film on its Twitter feed every day (#EuronewsVineOfTheDay).
Even as viewing habits change, big events that bring people together and rich content are ensuring that television audiences remain high. Sporting events such as the London Olympic Games and one-off events such as Felix Baumgartner's supersonic skydive found a global audience.
Reality television, especially talent contents like The Voice, proved to be a popular genre in many territories. Reality TV represented 41% of the top performing programs of 2012 compared to 38% for fiction.
"2012 is a real turning point for television," said Amandine Cassi, Head of Research at Eurodata TV Worldwide. "Social, connected, synchronized: television keeps reinventing itself in a context in which digital imposes its own mark and rhythm".
Data sourced from Médiamétrie; additional content by Warc staff