2 AUG 2022

Linear TV viewing down as online long form viewing time increases

Across all the markets covered by Omdia’s latest study, average total daily viewing time reached 362 minutes per person per day in 2021 (6 hours and 2 minutes), down 0.5% on last year.

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Non-linear viewing continues to gain greater hegemony in the daily viewing habits of TV users across the United States, Europe and Australia with online long form and social media video viewing growing beyond the previous year’s boom in viewing time, new research from Omdia reveals.

Omdia’s new “Cross-Platform Television Viewing Time Report – 2022” finds that, across all the markets covered, average total daily viewing time reached 362 minutes per person per day in 2021 (6 hours and 2 minutes), down 0.5% on last year. Declines in linear TV, online short form and pay TV VOD account for this minor drop in viewing, with the former seeing the sharpest falls. Growth in online long form and social media video viewing, however, counterbalanced these declines, leaving overall viewing to drop by just 2 minutes.

Geographically speaking, linear TV viewing time decreased in all markets during last year. The ending of restrictions and lockdowns that marked most of 2020 was the primary cause, with the continual shift toward on-demand viewing also driving this.

“In highly developed markets such as the United States and the UK, 2021 will likely be the last year where linear TV predominates over non-linear TV viewing. On a platform-by-platform level, however, linear TV still remains by some distance the most popular way to watch TV in the markets covered,”  commented Rob Moyser, a Senior Analyst in Omdia’s TV & Online Video team.

Online long form was a key area of growth across all markets, driven largely by incumbent online subscription services such as Netflix, Prime Video, and Disney+, and the launch of several new OTT services such as Discovery+ and Paramount+. In total, long-form viewing grew by 8 minutes, reaching 68 minutes, 8 minutes ahead of social media video viewing.

Time spent viewing video content on social media platforms increased by 9 minutes in 2021 to an average of 60 minutes per person per day across the nine markets analyzed. TikTok was the standout performer for video growth during the year, with the platform set to overtake Facebook in total time spent for the first-time in 2022.

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