A new report from the Irish broadcast regulator has found that young people are moving away from TV at a faster rate than previously forecast, reflecting a much larger trend in viewing: the winners, it seems, are video-on-demand services.

The study was commissioned by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) from the consultants Mediatique, who found that its previous forecasts, made in 2017, were too high by a full 15 minutes.

As reported by the Irish Times, the 2017 report forecast traditional TV viewing minutes among the 15-24 audience would decrease to a daily average of 95 minutes, down from the 109 minutes the same demographic watched in 2016.

Instead, average daily viewing minutes plummeted as low as 70 minutes. As the publication observes, this is lower than the consultants’ 2022 forecasts. In terms of compound annual growth, this reflects a decline of 20% from 2016 to 2018.

“With the benefit of the past two years of TV viewing data, we can now say that live TV is likely to play a smaller role in total video consumption than we originally forecast just two years ago,” the report warned.

Other demographics also saw declines, but not to quite the same precipitous extent. Among a broader 15-35 segment, the CAGR decline was 11.95% (from 129 minutes in 2016 to 100 minutes in 2018), while the TV-loving over-35s only watched 10 minutes less TV on average in 2018 than they did in 2016.

The report goes on to state that it is likely this viewing has not disappeared, but rather migrated to new online, on-demand channels.

However, this presents a problem of measurement because they are not tracked by Nielsen, even when they are the on-demand services of traditional broadcasters. Even if they’re not being tracked it seems a sure bet that the new entrants – not only Netflix and Amazon, but even larger powerhouses like Apple and Disney, all of which are spending big in a bet to win a slice of this ever-growing pie – will make further inroads into traditional viewing figures.

“Subscription video-on-demand services are likely to have gained reach and a significant volume of viewing, while YouTube and other online video or gaming sites may also have benefited, especially among younger consumers,” the report adds. 

Sourced from the Irish Times; additional content by WARC staff