Young audience drops TV, live events on the up says Deloitte

New ITV boss Carolyn McCall is just settling into her new plush new seat at the the UK’s biggest free-to-air broadcaster but she might not be too pleased to see the latest report from Deloitte’s technology, media and telecoms practice (TMT) which forecasts that traditional TV viewing by 18-24 year olds will decline by ten to 15 per cent in 2018, a pretty alarming drop.

Conversely live broadcasts and events will continue to thrive in a digital world, generating £400m globally in 2018, £24bn in the UK.

Global live revenues by sub-sector, 2018: ($bn)

TMT also points to a resurgence of paid media content (mostly TV, music, news or video games) with half of UK adults having at least two online-only media subscriptions by the end of 2018 and four by the end of 2020.

It’s not all bad news for traditional media providers though. TMT head of research Paul Lee says: “Many forces that distracted young people away from traditional TV, such as smartphones, social media and video piracy, have peaked. Digital distractions will remain, but their impact is unlikely to increase further.

“Nevertheless, broadcasters, distributors and advertisers have to react to changing consumer habits. To this end, measurement’s scope will need to expand to include reactions to viewing, as well as minutes viewed.”

Bold to call an end to the remorseless rise of smartphones and social media. But, as far as TV is concerned, this is the Netflix generation with savvy digital users turning away from “bundled” digital media like Sky and Virgin to only paying for what they want.

As far as ITV and other broadcasters are concerned, they’re likely to remain the chief dispensers of ads, just to not so many people. In the meantime more advertisers will turn to live events to attract audiences.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

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