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UK viewers watching 4 hours of TV each day

TV continues to prove itself a resilient and hugely popular medium in the UK, with new figures from the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (BARB) for 2012 indicating that on-demand viewing is actually increasing the overall amount of TV being watched.

For the third year running, linear TV viewing on a TV set remained above an average of four hours a day in 2012, with the “average” viewer watching 4 hours and 1 minute of linear TV in this way – just one minute less than the record level set in 2011.

In addition to this, a marketing body for commercial TV in the UK called Thinkbox has released its own findings based on data provided by the country’s broadcasters which indicate that viewers in the UK watched an average of 3 minutes a day on non-TV sets last year (mostly on-demand but also some live streams).

The majority of this less conventional viewing is being done via big-name services like the BBC iPlayer and Sky Go on smartphones, tablets and PCs, and amounts to an average of three 30-minute TV episodes a month per viewer (90 minutes).

Linear TV the “bedrock” of TV consumption

With the spread of internet-connected TV sets and next-gen free-to-air platforms like YouView and Freesat, Thinkbox expects that some of this on-demand viewing will move to the TV set, in line with viewer preferences.

“Linear TV is the bedrock of how we watch TV and that is not going to change,” said Lindsey Clay, Managing Director of Thinkbox. ”Its continued strength underlines viewers’ preference for watching TV as it is broadcast and on a TV set.

“Viewing via personal devices, which we have been able to estimate for the first time, is in comparison relatively small, but it is growing rapidly and helping TV as a whole to expand.

“This is great for viewers who can watch what they want, when they want; and great for advertisers for whom TV – the biggest digital medium – is expanding.”

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