Catch-up services and social media increasing TV viewing

iPlayer and friends putting the fun back into TV watching
iPlayer and friends putting the fun back into TV watching

UK TV viewers are watching more telly than ever before thanks to the growing popularity of on-demand services and time-shifting, according to a report by TV marketing body Thinkbox.

Figures released today show that 'non-live' viewing accounted for 9 per cent of total consumption for the first six months of 2011, an increase from 7.1 per cent for the same period last year – and the data doesn't include time-shifting of shows more than seven days old.

Yet despite the growth in catchup viewing, Thinkbox also claims there has been a 'drive to live' TV – and reckons social media might be the cause.

Both an increased risk of seeing spoilers via the likes of Twitter and Facebook, and being able to share your live TV experiences on social networks, are cited as driving factors.

Making TV enjoyable

Thinkbox also believes that innovations such as Smart TV and hi-def programming help 'magnetise' consumers to their TV sets.

Thinkbox's Managing Director Lindsey Clay said about the findings: 'What is clear is that every new technology that joins TV – from connected TV sets to social media – is making it even more enjoyable for viewers.'

Not surprisingly, increased viewing of TV means UK telly addicts are watching more adverts. The number of ads watched at normal speed increased by 4.7 per cent year-on-year, and has grown by 22.1 per cent since 2006.

In fact, the average UK viewer now sits through 47 commercials a day – instead of getting up and boiling the kettle.