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Young Irish viewers ‘deserting linear television faster than expected’

15-24 year olds are watching just 70 minutes of linear TV a day

Young Irish viewers are switching off traditional TV and moving to VoD services at a faster rate than previously expected, according to new research.

In a report commissioned by the broadcasting regulator, media consultants Mediatique said the forecasts it made in 2017 for the average minutes of television consumed by Irish viewers over the five years from 2018 to 2022 now looked too high.

In 2017, the company forecast that 15 to 24-year-olds would consume a daily average of 95 minutes of television in 2018. Instead, the average daily viewing minutes for the age group during 2018 was just 70 minutes, less than the total Mediatique originally forecast their viewing levels would be in 2022.

“With the benefit of the past two years of TV viewing data, we can now say that live TV is likely to play a smaller role in total video consumption than we originally forecast just two years ago,” the report states.

In the broader 15 to 34 age category, TV viewing has dropped less steeply, going from 129 average daily minutes in 2016 to 100 minutes in 2018.

The decline among the 35-plus age group was more modest, with average daily minutes of TV viewing decreasing from 232 minutes to 222 minutes over the period.

“Subscription video-on-demand services are likely to have gained reach and a significant volume of viewing,” said Mediatique, “while YouTube and other online video or gaming sites may also have benefitted, especially among younger consumers.”