Living room maintains central role in UK TV viewing
Joseph O'Halloran
| 08 October 2014
Despite clear increased uptake of mobile devices capable of supporting video services, and in addition VOD, the TV set in the living room has maintained its primacy in UK living rooms says new research from Thinkbox.

In Screen Life: TV advertising everywhere, a survey carried out by Craft Strategy, the organisation that represents the UK's commercial broadcasters—including Channel 4, ITV, Sky Media, Turner Media, UKTV, RTL Group and Virgin Media—found that TV plays a profound role within people's homes and within the living room in particular, playing a vital role in unifying households and being a part of numerous day-to-day rituals. Virtually all (96%) of TV viewing in the UK takes place on a TV set, with 86% on a TV set in the living room. Moreover the study found that two-thirds of the UK (63%) thinks TV is central to making the living room a special place in the home. By contrast VOD comprises less than 4% of all TV viewing and only 12% tune in using an online device.

Yet despite the primacy of the living room, the survey also found that TV in the UK is increasingly on the move and mobile— indeed more than half (56%) of the UK have watched TV on screens other than the TV set while in the living room; 46% in the bedroom; 24% in their study or home office; 19% in the kitchen. Just over a third 37% of people in the UK have watched TV on mobile screens when out and about: 17% on their tablet, laptop or smartphone when they are at someone else's house; 13% at work; 12% elsewhere out of home; 10% while travelling on business; 13% in a public building; 16% while on public transport; and 12% while travelling in a car.

The survey also threw up some encouraging findings for advertisers: it found that viewers pay more attention to advertising than they think and that multiscreen viewing, common during ad breaks, did not diminish explicit ad recall. Furthermore, the longer people watched TV, the better their explicit ad recall.

"This work will continue to help advertisers optimise their TV campaigns as TV goes on the move," commented Neil Mortensen, research and planning director at Thinkbox. "It has been fascinating to understand how technology is improving the quality and convenience for viewers and how advertising is benefitting from the relationship."