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Commercial media use drops and diverges according to new IPA TouchPoints study

Broadcast commercial media is continuing to lose share of viewing as we spend more time with streaming services and generally migrate to online entertainment and content. A new IPA TouchPoints report shows that 16+ audiences in the UK are watching 51 minutes per day less than in 2015 (and a quarter of an hour less per day than pre-pandemic).

At the same time, the generations are diverging even further apart in their media habits. As much as 80% of commercial media time for 16-34s is spend on digital platforms, predominantly on social media including YouTube. This compares to 52% for 35-54s and 28% for 55-plus.

Even when people are watching what the IPA calls “curated commercial media,” they are increasingly likely to be doing it on their smartphone instead of a TV, with a 60% increase in this mode of viewing since 2015. Smartphones (32%) and TV sets (39%) take up the great majority of all media time.

OOH continues to have a 90% weekly reach across all age groups, matched only by TV for the 55+ generation.

Simon Frazier, head of TouchPoints marketing & data innovation at the IPA, said: “The disruption of the past few years makes it increasingly complex to effectively engage with consumers and optimise media spend accordingly. Accurate, detailed data and diverse media plans are therefore crucial.”

It might be useful to drill down into the IPA’s statistics, but none of this will be news to media agencies, or to broadcasters like Channel 4 and ITVX (and also the BBC) who are ploughing investment into their online platforms.

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