Linear TV viewership is declining as online long form viewing time grows: Omdia

According to new Omdia data, nonlinear watching continues to gain predominance in the daily viewing habits of TV viewers throughout the US, Europe, and Australia, with online long form and social media video viewing exceeding the previous year's viewing time surge.

According to Omdia's latest Cross-Platform Television Viewing Time Report - 2022, the overall daily viewing time reached 362 minutes per person per day in 2021 (6 hours and 2 minutes), a 0.5 percent decrease from the previous year. Declines in linear TV, online short form, and pay TV VoD contribute for this modest dip in viewing, with the former experiencing the steepest drops. Growth in online long form and social media video viewing, however, offset these declines, resulting in a 2 minute drop in overall viewership.

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Linear TV watching time declined in all areas in 2021, with the major cause being the absence of limitations and lockdowns that characterised most of 2020, with the ongoing transition toward on-demand viewing also contributing.

Rob Moyser, a Senior Analyst in Omdia's TV & Online Video division, shared his thoughts, “in highly developed markets such as the US 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.”

Online long form was a crucial area of development across all regions, fueled mostly by incumbent online subscription services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+, as well as the debut of many new OTT providers like Discovery+ and Paramount+. Long-form viewing increased by 8 minutes in total, reaching 68 minutes, 8 minutes ahead of social media video viewing.

In 2021, time spent watching video material on social media platforms grew by 9 minutes, reaching an average of 60 minutes per person per day across the nine markets studied. TikTok was the year's top performance for video growth, with the platform on track to surpass Facebook in total time spent for the first time in 2022.


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