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TV ad rev reaches record high of ?4.36 bn in 2011 in UK

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MUMBAI:Total TV ad revenue in the UK increased by 2.2 per cent last year to reach a new record high of ?4.36 billion, according to full year revenue figures provided to Thinkbox by the UK commercial TV broadcasters.

TV advertising is expected to have outperformed the total UK advertising market in 2011, which is believed to have grown by approximately 1.5 per cent. This means that linear TV’s share of total advertising will have increased for the fourth consecutive year. The TV revenue figures represent revenue for linear TV spot advertising and sponsorship.

Thinkbox CEO Tess Alps said, “This is an encouraging performance by commercial TV, especially as it follows the market-leading 16% revenue growth seen in 2010 and was achieved during uncertain economic times. The strength of linear TV advertising investment reflects commercial TV’s record viewing and the further acknowledgement by advertisers of the evidence of its unrivalled ability to create business profit. And it’s worth noting that, in addition to these revenues, TV is also driving one of the fastest growing parts of online advertising through TVOD.”

New advertisers: There were 887 new or returning TV advertisers in 2011 (i.e. first use of TV or no TV advertising for at least 5 years). These included Google, Avios, Majestic Wine, and Unum. Together, new and returning advertisers accounted for 2.6% of total TV ad revenues, according to Nielsen Media Research data.

Top spending categories: Retail remained the top spending TV advertising category in 2011, according to Nielsen Media Research, increasing its investment by two per cent on 2010. This was followed by Entertainment and Leisure, which increased spend by one per cent and Finance, which increased spend by two per cent. There were significant increases in TV ad spend in Telecoms (up 28.8 per cent), Travel and Transport (up 27 per cent), and in comparison websites (up 21.5 per cent).

Record TV viewing: TV viewing figures in the UK for 2011 equaled the record high set in 2010. The average viewer watched 4 hours, 2 minutes of linear TV a day in 2011 (28 hours, 14 minutes a week), according to figures from the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (Barb).

Commercial TV channels (i.e. non-BBC channels) were responsible for maintaining the record viewing level, accounting for 64 per cent of all linear TV viewing, an increase of 1.3 per cent points on 2010.

Record ad viewing: The increase in commercial TV viewing also meant an increase in the number of TV ads viewed. Commercial impacts (the number of ads watched at normal speed) during 2011 were up 2.6 per cent on 2010, and have grown by 19.6 per cent over the last five years to a new record high. The average viewer watched 47 ads a day during 2011.

This strong performance underlines viewers’ preference for watching TV as it is broadcast and on a TV set whenever possible. The many new ways to watch TV via other screens such as laptops, tablets and smartphones are growing, and a welcome solution to out of home viewing, but they are not included in Barb‘s figures and are not impacting on linear viewing.

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