Every third viewing hour is apparently now spent watching on-demand television and video. The Ericsson ConsumerLab TV and Media Report suggests that 35% of all television and video viewing is now watched on demand and that young adults spend more than half their television viewing time on a portable screen. The findings are not entirely consistent with traditional television viewing estimates.

The Ericsson report is based on an online survey of over 20,000 people, across 20 markets: Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Portugal, Russia, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey, United Kingdom, Ukraine and the United States. It is claimed to be representative of the views and habits of 680 million consumers.

The results are based on the self-reported weekly hours of active television or video viewing. On this basis, the study found that those aged 16-24 spent more than half of their television viewing time on smartphone, laptop or tablet.

Among those aged 16-59 with broadband at home who watch television or video at least once a week, respondents now spend 6 hours a week watching television programmes or movies streamed on demand. That is up from 2.9 hours a week in 2011.

Total video viewing hours per week. Source: Ericsson ConsumerLab

According to the Ericsson ConsumerLab figures, males spend an average of 6.6 hours a week watching streamed on demand television programmes or movies, while females spend 6.3 hours. That is averaged across 20 countries and seems comparatively high. It does not include around 3 hours a week viewing recorded programmes.

The study also found that men spent an average of 1.3 hours a week watching instructional videos and 1.1 hours watching what is described as e-sport, otherwise known as video games. It is not clear whether the category of ‘other’ was viewed live or on demand, but it accounted for another 1.8 hours a week.

The research found that men watched 20.9 hours a week of scheduled, live or recorded television, while women watched 18.7 hours a week. Adding in streamed on-demand television series, other programmes and movies, takes the total to 27.2 hours for men and 25.3 for women.

In comparison, BARB estimates that all individuals in television homes in United Kingdom watched an average of 3.68 hours of television a day, or 25.76 hours a week in 2014. That includes programmes recorded and viewed within 7 days and online catch-up services, but not subscription videos services like Netflix or Amazon, or other online video.

Nielsen estimates that all individuals in the United States watched an average of 32.55 hours of television a week, with another 3.5 hours time-shifted. It estimates an average of just 1.28 hours a week watching online video. This rises to almost 2 hours for those aged 25-34, who watch 28 hours of television a week, including time-shifted viewing. Even the lightest television viewers, those aged 12-17, watch 19.69 hours a week, but apparently only watch an average of 24 minutes a week of online video.

There is generally a wide discrepancy between self-reported behaviour and actual measured viewing. While the Ericsson ConsumerLab sample is large, the results of an online survey of claimed viewing should be treated with considerable caution, although some might suggest the methods for measuring television viewing are equally suspect.

TV and Media 2015: The empowered TV and media consumer’s infuence is available to download from the Ericsson web site.