Time-shifting takes up tenth of UK viewing

Joseph O'Halloran ©RapidTVNews | 18-10-2011

Bolstered no doubt by the growing availability of catch-up services from all of the terrestrial broadcasters, the volume of time-shifted viewing has reached a new high in the UK.
Indeed, as calculated by in-home TV measurement agency BARB, during the week ending 25 September 2011, time-shifted viewing—defined as any non-live viewing to programmes that takes place within 164 hours of the original broadcast—accounted for as much as a 10% of the total volume of TV viewing.

This includes playback through PVRs, DVD-recorders or VCRs as well as via catch-up services available through the TV, most notably the BBC iPlayer but increasingly through the ITV Player, Channel 4’s 4oD and Channel 5 catch-up services.
Interestingly, given that all pay-TV operators make great note of their services’ ability to record hundreds of hours of programming over weeks, BARB also revealed that a substantial proportion of all 7-day time-shifted viewing—48% in the week ending 25 September—takes place on a VOSDAL (Viewing On The Same Day As Live) basis.
In terms of what specific programming was consumed at a later time than broadcast, across the top 10 channels, 20% of total viewing of drama series was time-shifted, followed by soaps (16%), documentaries (15%) and entertainment programmes (13%). Among individuals with a PVR this proportion rose to 32%, 26%, 23% and 21% respectively.
BARB also discovered that the proportion of viewing that is time-shifted varies by demographic group with is a higher proportion of young adults and ABC1s time-shifting than for other groups. In the week ending 25 September, 16% of viewing by adults aged between 25-34 was time-shifted.