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TV Still Dominates Irish Viewing Habits

TAM-600Despite the proliferation of different devices from which people can access TV and video content, the traditional TV continues to dominate people’s viewing habits in Ireland according to research carried out by IPOS MRBI for the audience measurement body TAM Ireland.

According to the research the average Irish adult watched around 3 hours 17 minutes of TV every day in 2012. This is actually two minutes more than in 2008. Since then, the marketplace has been flooded by a raft of different devices on which people can watch TV and video content including tablets, mobile handsets, PVRs and gaming consoles in addition to online services like Netflix, FilmOn and the various catch-up services from RTÉ and TV3.

According to TAM Ireland, “the more ways we offer content to viewers, the more content they consume. Rather than new formats and devices cannibalising linear TV viewing levels, it appears to be growing the total time spent viewing overall.”

According to Jill McGrath CEO of TAM Ireland, “the findings of this report clearly indicate that, despite the availability of content on new devices, the vast majority of Irish people are still watching most of their content at home on the TV set and watching it live. Beyond the TV set, laptops are the second-most popular device for viewing content with tablets still only accounting for 2% of content viewed.”

“TV remains a key source of relaxation in the home as almost half the time we are watching, we are not doing anything else and it is also a highly-social activity as 20% of the time we’re watching TV, we’re talking with others,” she adds.

As to what the future holds, McGrath says that “TAM Ireland will be repeating this study to start building a picture of trends and also we are currently in discussions with Nielsen about demo testing an extended screen study with a very small number of homes on PCs and laptops. At this stage it is purely to understand how the software meter works and generate some very topline test data so it is a first baby step towards measuring this technology. ”

Some of the key findings of the IPSOS MRBI/TAM Ireland research include

  • 97% of Irish adults watch audio-visual content on a TV set everyday and viewing on a TV set accounts for 89% of all viewing
  • The vast majority of adults in Ireland still prefer to watch TV at home, which accounts for 85.4% of all audio-visual content consumed.
  • Outside of TV at home, laptop at home viewing is the next most popular activity, accounting for 4.6% of content consumed.  Beyond TV at home and laptop at home, the viewing market begins to fragment with, interestingly, watching a TV set in someone else’s home (1.5%) being the third most popular device/location combination.
  • Younger Irish viewers are the most likely to be viewing content on non-TV devices but live TV at home on the TV set still makes up the vast majority of their viewing
  • 216 minutes of audio-visual content is viewed in a typical day across all devices
  • Own Home is the most popular location (202 minutes) TV Set is the most popular device (192 minutes); and Live TV is the most popular format (182 minutes).
  • Younger adults (15-34) spend less time viewing content on a TV set than average (176 minutes per day vs. an average of 192 minutes), but reach the average when all devices are taken into account (215 minutes per day vs. an average of 216 minutes).
  • Almost half of the time (49%) we do not do anything else while watching the TV set
  • Mobiles and tablets combined accounted for 2.2% of viewing. Just 0.5% of all viewing can be classified as pure mobile (in other words mobile or tablet while commuting, out socially or in a public space).
  • Only 3% of Irish adults rely solely on a device other than a TV set to view content in a typical day
  • 15% of adults consume content on another device in addition to a TV set and this rises to 29% for 15-34s.
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