Viewers prefer TV sets over mobile devices

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Children watching TVImage source, SPL
Image caption,
The amount of TV watched live fell from 89.9% in 2012 to 88.7% last year

The traditional television set is still at the heart of UK viewing, with only 1.5% of total viewing in 2013 watched via mobile platforms, figures suggest.

The average viewer watched three hours and 55 minutes of TV a day last year, according to commercial TV marketing body Thinkbox.

But just three and a half minutes - the equivalent of three 30-minute shows a month - was watched via mobile devices.

The average viewer now watches 12 more minutes of TV a day than in 2003.

Despite the low figure for non-TV set devices, it was still slightly up on the three minutes (1% of total viewing) recorded in 2012.

Thinkbox added the majority of viewing on mobile devices was on-demand and catch-up programming using services such as the BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, Sky Go and 4OD.

"New screens are making TV even more convenient for viewers," Thinkbox chief executive Lindsey Clay said.

"But, the more we learn, the clearer it becomes that the TV set will remain our favourite way to watch TV - especially as on-demand services become more available on the best screen."

Media caption,

Lindsey Clay, head of Thinkbox: New devices "not replacing" traditional TV viewing

Overall, daily linear TV viewing - that is, watching TV "live" rather than using catch-up services - fell by nine minutes to three hours and 52 minutes a day, against 2012's figure of four hours and one minute.

The lack of significant sporting events following the London Olympics, added to the good weather in 2013, are thought to have contributed to the slight dip.

However, the World Cup is expected to boost live viewing figures again this year.

The research also found the proportion of linear TV watched live fell from 89.9% in 2012 to 88.7%, reflecting the growth of digital TV recorders (DTRs) like Freeview+, Sky+ and Tivo on Virgin Media.

According to Barb - which measures TV viewing on DTRs for seven days after the original broadcast - 81% of all recorded, or time-shifted, viewing was watched within two days.

Thinkbox said it expected the average amount of recorded and playback TV viewing to settle at around 15-20% of total linear viewing, with the proportion of on demand viewing increasing as part of the time-shifted total.

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