Television still dominates video viewing around the world. Figures from international television trade bodies put online viewing into perspective. Even among younger adults, television accounts for the majority of their viewing. Yet the numbers also highlight how much they spend watching YouTube. It may be longer than they spend watching programmes from the leading commercial television channel, whether live, recorded or on demand.
In the United Kingdom, television accounts for 76% of total video consumption, while YouTube accounts for 4.4%. Live, playback and on-demand television programming accounts for 57% of all video viewing, among those aged 16-24. In comparison YouTube accounts for 10.3%, or over 20 minutes a day.
In the United States, television accounts for 86% of viewing time spent by those aged 18-34, compared to 14% for YouTube, which also works out at about 20 minutes a day.
In Australia, broadcast television channels account for 84% of all screen viewing time. Among those aged 18-49, 70% of viewing time is spent watching broadcast television on a television.
In Germany, 90% of video usage can be attributed to television viewing. Among those aged 14-49 the figure is 79%.
In France, 93% of video viewing is to television, while for those aged 15-24 it is around 79%.
In Italy, television represents 94% of video viewing time, or 88% among those aged 15-34.
In Spain, live television accounts for over 70% of viewing time, or around 60% among those aged 15-34, for whom YouTube accounts for approaching 17%.
The figures are among those provided by the Platform for European Promotion of TV, or PEPPT, an informal group of broadcaster trade bodies and sales houses in Europe.
“Video is a confusing world with lots of numbers flying around. But despite the popularity and occasional hype around video services, this new international data underlines TV’s unmatched and continued popularity around the world,” the group said in a statement. “It is the world’s favourite video. We hope international marketers will base their decisions about advertising investment on these facts and TV’s proven effectiveness.”
The significance of online viewing is often overstated compared to traditional television. Yet it is notable that the television industry needs to justify itself in comparison to YouTube, an online video platform that has become a household name in a little over a decade since it launched.
YouTube now accounts for a tenth of all video viewing among those aged 16-24 in the United Kingdom, according to previously reported figures by Thinkbox. In contrast, Channel Four and Channel Five collectively accounted for around 10% of all television viewing, while ITV accounted for just under 15% in 2015, or about 21% across its portfolio of channels.
Based on total daily video viewing of 205 minutes for this 16-24 age group, 10.3% works out at about 21 minutes a day watching YouTube. That can be compared to about 90 minutes a day watching live television, with almost another 30 minutes a day watching playback television or broadcast programmes viewed on demand.
Assuming that ITV 1, the main commercial television channel in the United Kingdom attracts 15% or less than 20 minutes a day of television viewing, it would appear that those aged 16-24 may be spending more time watching YouTube.
This age group also spends about 17 minutes a day watching subscription online video services like Netflix and 13 minutes a day viewing porn.
YouTube, online video and television: Insightful facts and figures was compiled by EGTA and published by PEPPTV.