BBC Three’s audience collapsed by between 60-70 per cent following its move from a linear channel to online, according to new research.
The report by City, University of London found that, in terms of time spent watching the channel, viewing minutes dropped by 89 per cent per year.
The report stated that even factoring in the additional viewing of BBC Three programmes via the BBC’s remaining linear TV channels (eg both Killing Eve and Fleabag aired on BBC One), the decline in viewing time was around 72 per cent.
It added that the channel lost almost two-thirds of its monthly viewers – and a little more than two-thirds of its weekly audience. “These losses are undeniably a result of the change, being greater than the more modest falls BBC Three had been experiencing before the move and the falls experienced by its competitors who continued to broadcast,” it continued.
According to the research, the size of BBC Three’s target audience of 16-34s reduced to a greater extent, proportionally, than the size of its audience aged 35+ (down 80 per cent in weekly audience size and 63 per cent in monthly, compared to drops of 73 and 61 per cent respectively).
“Not only has the time spent with the channel been hugely reduced, but most (79 per cent) of the online viewing is still via television sets,” added the report.