Parent Category News 23-09-2013
The march of online video may be relentless but new research from the Association of Commercial Television in Europe (ACT) has revealed a 'great summer' of standard TV services.
The body, which represents the interests of the commercial broadcasting sector in Europe, found that over the summer, major sporting and political events were the drivers for the European TV market setting new records.
What made this more of a triumph, said ACT, was that 2013 did not even feature a mega sporting event such as the Olympics, World Cup football or even the UEFA European football championships.
In Italy people watched 3.5% more television in the summer of 2013 than the previous year, while 26 million Germans watched the election debate between Chancellor Angela Merkel and her challenger Peer Steinbrück, and 23.7 million viewed the all-German Champions League final between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. In addition, up to 13 million viewers in France and 2.75 million in the Netherlands watched coverage of the Tour de France. The Tour also broke records in the UK where over 14 million people watched Andy Murray win the men's singles tennis at Wimbledon.
"Across Europe, broadcasters are achieving astonishing levels of innovation in technology and we are constantly developing new ways to deliver our content to consumers: HD, UltraHD, on-demand," said ACT President Philippe Delusinne. "Crucially, we are doing this with very high levels of linear TV viewing and high growth in additional, non-linear TV viewing. As and when the European economies return to growth, this will be translated into increased advertising and subscription revenue to be reinvested in future programming – a real virtuous circle for European business and consumers."
Looking deeper into the trends revealed, ACT added that despite the emergence of online video as a viable business, its impact, and in particular that of Google's preeminent online video service YouTube, may be somewhat overstated. After comparing for the first time the time spent watching television against that consuming various online media, ACT concluded that the rise of YouTube has not been at the expense of television.
Indeed it calculated that for every minute viewers spent on YouTube, they spent an hour watching traditional linear television. In the UK, viewers' time adopted this norm while in Germany ACT said that if YouTube were a TV Channel, its market share would be less than 1%. In the UK, linear TV is watched for 130 hours per month, almost 44 times more than YouTube.
Adding her voice to this debate, Tess Alps, executive chair at Thinkbox, the trade association for the UK's commercial TV industry, said: "Whenever a commentator glibly announces that YouTube has 'displaced' TV we should ask for their impartial evidence. In the UK, according to official sources, for every minute spent on YouTube, the average person spends nearly an hour watching linear TV. We're delighted to discover from cooperating with our sister organisations that this pattern is replicated across all the major European markets. This is not to denigrate YouTube in any way. It is complementary to TV and it is going to grow, but the assumption that time spent on YouTube will inevitably cannibalise linear TV time is flawed and not borne out by analysis of real consumers."