The Viewing Report

Demography on three screens

21 May 2019

Since September 2018, BARB has reported programme average audiences for the most commonly-used demographics by combining two data sources: device-based census data from BVOD services showing the number of PCs, tablets and smartphones used to watch programmes; and BARB panel data that tell us the number of people watching and who they are.

The combination of these two sources enables the production of multiple-screen viewing figures, with demographic information available for PCs and tablets. BARB doesn’t yet produce panel measurement of viewing on smartphones.

This first chart shows us the age profile of three-screen viewing to the second episode of the 2018 series of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here, one of ITV’s biggest shows for the 16-34 audience. Here we see a broad age profile for the audience watching on TV sets. But if we consider device viewing as a mark of an audience’s passion for a show, it looks like the passion for I’m a Celebrity wanes around the age of 55. Those aged 55 and over comprise over 32% of the TV set viewing audience, but only tiny proportions of the tablet (6.5%) and PC (4.2%) audiences. While viewers aged 16-44 account for a big share of I’m a Celebrity’s audience on devices, it seems the show has remarkable appeal to the 45-54 age range: comprising a whopping 37.2% of its PC-viewing audience and a chunky 28.4% of the tablet audience. That looks like a really motivated audience – closer in age to celebrities John Barrowman (52) and Nick Knowles (56) than winner Harry Redknapp (72) or runner-up Emily Atack (29).

This next chart illustrates the age profile of three-screen viewing to the launch episode of the latest series of The Great British Bake Off, C4’s highest-rating broadcast show and also one of its biggest deliverers of 16-34 audiences. It has broad appeal across the age range, as we can see from the TV set viewing profile. The age profile of viewing on tablets and PCs is broad too, but with noticeably smaller proportions of the youngest (aged 4-15) and older (55 and over) viewers. PC and tablet viewing are particularly concentrated in the 16-34 age group; with 16-24s accounting for a huge 27.8% of viewing on PCs, almost three times the proportion that they comprise of the TV set viewing audience. Bake Off provides a welcome break from studying or work, perhaps. The next age cohort of 25-34s are a big chunk of device viewing too, accounting for 29.1% of tablet viewing to this show and over 26% of viewing on PCs.

Meanwhile, the final episode of the BBC’s political drama Bodyguard drew a TV set audience, perhaps not surprisingly, skewed strongly to the ABC1 social grade (67% of the total). The audience viewing on PC was even more upscale, with ABC1s accounting for 89% of the total. In contrast, viewing to this show on tablets, while still biased to ABC1, was a little more evenly spread.

But if the social grade of Bodyguard’s audience conforms to expectations, it might be a surprise to see the gender profile of device viewing to Taskmaster on UKTV’s Dave. The gender split of TV set viewing to this show gives us a predictable skew to men – 52% of the audience. But women account for 59% of viewing on tablets and 58% of viewing on PCs. So Taskmaster’s not as blokey as you might have thought, or maybe Greg Davies and his crew have a female fan-base that’s taking (secretly?) to tablets and PCs to follow the show.