Scandinavia: Broadcast viewing in free fall among young

18 October 2016

Declining broadcast TV viewing is not a new phenomenon in Scandinavia. But the current speed of transformation is indicating a market reaching its tipping point. The pattern is the same across Scandinavia; young audiences abandon broadcast TV in favour of online video. Consequently, the challenges for traditional services are vast and call for immediate action.   

The third quarter showed to be tough for traditional TV in Scandinavia. In spite of the UEFA Euro championship in July and the summer Olympics in August, the negative viewing trend continued. In some age groups the decline can only be described as a free fall. Among 15-24 year olds the drop was double digit; in Denmark a staggering -29%. In absolute numbers this represents a loss of 22 minutes compared to the same quarter last year.

As a result, TV viewing is increasingly skewed towards older audiences. Viewers aged 65+ currently watch more than four times as much TV as 15-24 year olds; largest spread in Sweden, 239 min/day compared to 46 min/day. The negative viewing trend is, however, not solely a phenomenon among the young. During the third quarter, daily viewing time declined in almost all age groups – also in more commercial target audiences. In Sweden, viewing time among 25-34 year olds dropped by more than -10% and compared to 2012 the decline is close to -40%.

– It is by no means “breaking news” that traditional TV is under pressure. What is remarkable is that the decline is accelerating in a time period with top sports events. We have seen for some time now, that large groups of viewers are migrating from broadcast to online video services. As viewing behaviour changes, demand for new types of content aggregation as well as bundling will increase. In this transformation, TV operators will likely play a key role in the way they they choose to integrate online content into their current offering, says Marie Nilsson, CEO at Mediavision.

Mediavision follows the development of the emerging streaming market closely.

Press release Oct 2016

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