An overview of changes in linear TV's daily reach and consumption in Q3 2021 in Australia, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.
- Linear TV is settling into a post-pandemic trend of smaller audiences but higher consumption as daily reach declines but minutes watched rise.
- At the same time, sports content, one of linear's biggest drivers, has seen a continued decline in viewership as many sports leagues shift to streaming and fans move to short-form highlights.
Linear TV is settling into a post-pandemic trend of smaller audiences but higher consumption, according to smart TV data from viewership company Samba TV.
In the United States, while linear TV's daily reach has fallen by 10% between Q3 2019 and Q3 2021, the number of minutes watched has risen by 17%. The same trend is visible in Germany and the UK, where the latter has seen audience consumption rise by a strong 42%. This means those that are still watching are watching more.
Australia bucks this trend somewhat, though, and has seen daily reach rise over the past two years (+11%).
This follows a surge in audiences and viewing last year which has since eased. At the same time, sports content, one of linear's biggest drivers, has seen a continued decline in viewership as many sports leagues shift to streaming and fans move to short-form highlights. For example, sports media is one of the best performing genres on TikTok.
However, the fourth quarter is often a strong period for TV reach and consumption and concerns about the Omicron variant of COVID-19 mean the last three months of 2021 may see a recovery in daily reach.
This comes as the cost of TV advertising is expected to rise by 6% this year worldwide, the largest increase across different media. For brands, using connected TV and broadcast TV together is proving popular while cosmetics company L’Oréal has found a new role for TV in driving online sales.