What People Watch: Live vs. on-demand viewing on non-TV devices 6 July 2020 Welcome to What People Watch, a series exploring different aspects of how UK audiences are watching television now. In this week’s edition, we look at how both live and on-demand viewing on non-TV devices have changed during lockdown. TV set viewing to BARB-reported channels For the week ending June 28th (calendar week 26), consolidated 7-day TV set viewing to BARB-reported channels was down slightly compared to the previous week, to 182 minutes a day. As has been the case throughout lockdown, viewing remained higher than the same week of 2019, this week being +11% up. Unidentified viewing for the week was also down slightly week-on-week, at 75 minutes a day. The preliminary live and same-day viewing figures for week ending July 5th (week 27) indicate that we may see slight gains versus week 26 when consolidated 7-day data are available. On a like-for-like basis, live viewing to BARB-reported channels was around the same levels we saw in weeks 24 and 25, so likely to increase to similar levels after seven days. Viewing on non-TV devices: live vs on-demand In the third edition of What People Watch, we examined how the early weeks of lockdown had affected viewing on non-TV devices, with a breakdown for each device type. This week, we look again at non-TV devices and investigate how the proportions of live and on-demand viewing have evolved during the course of lockdown. The total amount of viewing on non-TV devices (PCs/laptops, tablets and smartphones) has declined as the lockdown has continued, as shown by the height of the bars in chart above. This is driven by a number of factors, including more viewing happening on TV sets at home as viewers choose the biggest available screen, and the likelihood that fewer viewers are away from home watching a non-TV device. The total number of minutes viewed in May 2020 was -12% lower than in pre-lockdown February. There has been a particular drop in smartphone viewing, a key device for watching while commuting, down -27% in May compared to February. There has also been a shift in the type of viewing on non-TV devices, which has contributed to the overall reduction in viewing on these devices. Our census data show whether the content being viewed on a non-TV device is watched live or on-demand. While viewing of on-demand content on non-TV devices has been stable, with May’s total down just -3% on February, live viewing on devices declined -30% over the same period. This has meant that live viewing as a proportion of all non-TV device viewing has declined from 34% in January and February to 27% in May. A key driver of the decline in live viewing was the loss of sporting events since the start of lockdown. For example, live viewing of Sky Sports channels on non-TV devices fell to around 10% of Sky Go’s total live viewing on these devices in May, having comprised around 50% of February’s total. With sports tournaments starting to return to screens in June, early data indicate that we will see live viewing on non-TV devices increase again. Figures for the week ending June 21st show that there was a +51% increase in live viewing across all tagged BVOD services on non-TV devices compared with the previous week, greatly helped by the return of Premier League football to our screens. Doug Whelpdale, Insights Manager, BARB Follow BARB on LinkedIn and Twitter to find out when new editions of What People Watch are released, and for all the latest BARB news.