For every minute spent on YouTube, Europeans spend one hour watching television, according to a grouping of professional bodies.
“Despite the fact that this summer did not feature a FIFA World Cup, a UEFA European Championships or Olympic Games, and despite the unusually warm summer weather in much of Europe, viewers remained gripped by TV shows – whether about sport, politics, royalty or entertainment…,” according to a statement.
Other remarkable results from the research are:
In Italy, the lack of a global sporting event was irrelevant as Italians watched 3.5% more television in the summer of 2013 than the previous year;
26 million Germans watched the election debate between Chancellor Angela Merkel and her challenger Peer Steinbrück;
The Champions League final between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, was watched by a global audience of 360 million, 23.7m of them in Germany;
Up to 13m viewers in France and 2.75m in the Netherlands watched coverage of the Tour de France. The Tour also broke viewing records in the UK;
In other sporting highlights, over 14m people in the UK watched Andy Murray win the men’s singles at Wimbledon (and Marion Bartoli’s victory in the women’s singles created an audience record for its channel in France), while 2m Swedes watched the women’s European Championship football semi-final;
Talent shows continued their decade-long run of success, with over 14m viewers for the final of Britain’s Got Talent and strong figures also recorded in the Netherlands, Belgium and elsewhere;
Royal events also proved popular, with 6.08m Belgians watching the coronation of King Philippe I, 1.9m in Sweden for the marriage of Princess Madeleine, and – aggregated across four UK channels – 11.9 million watching coverage around the birth of Prince George;
TV-related tweets amounted to average 6.5m per month in France in July and August.
And the sector also believes that the impact of YouTube on television audiences has been overstated by some commentators. For the first time, industry bodies from around Europe have begun comparing the time spent watching television against that consuming various online media. The figures to date show that the impressive success of YouTube has not been at the expense of television. Across Europe, for every minute spent on YouTube, the average person spends an hour watching linear television.
Commenting on this new comparison, which builds on data published by the UK trade marketing body Thinkbox in May, Tess Alps, Executive Chair at Thinkbox said: “Whenever a commentator glibly announces that YouTube has ‘displaced’ TV we should ask for their impartial evidence. In the UK, according to official sources, for every minute spent on YouTube, the average person spends nearly an hour watching linear TV.
“We’re delighted to discover from co-operating with our sister organisations that this pattern is replicated across all the major European markets. This is not to denigrate YouTube in any way. It is complementary to TV and it is going to grow, but the assumption that time spent on YouTube will inevitably cannibalise linear TV time is flawed and not borne out by analysis of real consumers.”