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TV vs Social Media 0 30 May 2017

Is Social Media Killing TV?

Is social media killing TV?

The idea that TV viewing figures have been negatively impacted as a result of increasing social media platform use, has become a familiar narrative in recent years, but figures from Thinkbox (marketing body for commercial TV in the UK) suggest that we may have been misled.

While statistics show a slow decline in the number of total linear TV hours viewed over the last 4 years, they are not anywhere near as dramatic as you might expect. There has been an average drop of 2% in viewing hours for most adult categories since 2013 and of 3.2% in those related to the 16-34 category for the same period, with the overall drop for ‘individuals’ sitting at 2.2%. Considering the multitude of alternative entertainment consumption options now on offer, this figure seems surprisingly low.

Marketers have been told for over 15 years now that commercial TV is on its way out, but the medium continues to draw huge audiences and account for hours of our leisure-time choices. In light of this, some are suggesting that recent media warnings, which have implied a preference from consumers for social media platforms over TV, could be scaremongering tactics influenced by study biases.


  • During April (2017) people in the UK watched an average of 2 hours, 16 minutes of commercial linear TV a day.
  • Total linear TV viewing (including BBC) was 3 hours, 21 minutes a day (a decrease of 8 minutes in comparison with last year).
  • The number of impacts (with an ‘impact’ being a measure of viewing to commercial spots) for individuals has increased 19.9% compared to 10 years ago.
  • The total weekly reach of TV for UK individuals remains high at 92.8%.

(Courtesy of

There is no doubt that consumers (particularly the younger generation) are exploring and making use of alternative entertainment options, both inside the home and out. But for now, linear television is evidently still going strong – alongside a range of handy new tools that allow us to optimise the experiences we choose.

Figures suggest that both young and old consumers are continuing to celebrate the ways in which technology is able to expand their horizons and provide them with increasing intellectual privileges. Hopefully most are still managing to do this while avoiding over-subscription to media that could stagnate productivity or socially stunt them. Whatever the platform of choice, balance is obviously key!

Epic Studios hopes that you are continuing to enjoy being entertained, in all the rich and diverse ways that are offered to you in 2017 while ensuring that you step away from your technological devices and screens altogether now and again, to enhance your lives with what’s out there in the real world!

We hope that you have a great week, whatever you decide to do with it.

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