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Italy leads European TV viewing

News, 28 July 2016

LONDON: Italian consumers watch more TV than any other country in the top five markets of Western Europe, but it is the British who are leading the way for online video viewing, a new report has shown.

Based on viewing figures for 2015, research firm IHS Markit looked at any changes in TV viewing behaviour across broadcast and digital channels in Germany, the UK, France, Italy and Spain.

It established that Italians watched TV for four hours and 22 minutes per person per day last year, up 18 minutes from 2014. Also, combined with live linear viewing, the average time devoted to broadcast content in Italy reached 271 minutes and 41 seconds.

However, online long-form video accounted for only 28 seconds per person per day in Italy, a stark contrast with the UK where online long-form viewing increased by 25.7% to nine minutes and 24 seconds per person per day in 2015.

Non-linear viewing also increased in Spain, particularly online short-term content, which grew by 20.8% since 2014 to eight minutes and 49 seconds per person per day. Meanwhile, total non-linear viewing rose 22% to 16 minutes and 26 seconds per person per day in 2016.

At the same time, the viewing time given over to linear TV by Spanish consumers dropped to its lowest level since 2010 at 234 minutes per person per day, although this still made Spain the second main market for overall TV viewing time.

France came third with a TV viewing figure of three hours and 44 minutes per person per day in 2015, a marginal rise of three minutes, while non-linear viewing time increased 17.9% to 23 minutes and 54 seconds per person per day.

Meanwhile, TV viewing time declined in the UK to three hours and seven minutes per person per day, while in Germany the figure rounded out at three hours and 30 minutes.

According to IHS Markit, the overall picture in Western Europe is that the majority of viewing time is still tied to the broadcast schedule, whether live or through catch-up, and online revenues in 2015 were just 3% of total TV revenues across all five markets combined.

Data sourced from IHS Markit; additional content by Warc staff