The appeal of live TV is greater for older internet users, but almost everyone is watching digital video.
Live TV has more than maintained its audience among Ireland’s internet users, with 84.6% of those polled in Q1 2021 tuning in at least once in the prior month. But age-related differences in broadcast TV viewing are as clear as ever. Just 77.2% of respondents ages 16 to 24 watched live TV, compared with 96.2% of those ages 55 to 64. The shares watching broadcasters’ catch-up services and TV shows recorded earlier were very similar to results in 2020, at 67.8% and 62.3%, respectively.
By contrast, video streaming grew its reach substantially year over year (YoY), to 93.6% of respondents. Penetration was even greater among younger people and those in higher-income homes. One probable cause of an increase was the prolonged periods of stringent lockdown mandated by the Irish government; one of these extended from Christmas Eve 2020 into the late spring of 2021. Another factor may be that GWI included the hugely popular YouTube in its video category for the first time in 2021.
Subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) also gained new viewers. Across Ireland, penetration of services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video rose more than 7 percentage points during the year, to 86.6%. Youth was also a key indicator in this case; 97.4% of internet users ages 16 to 24 were SVOD viewers, compared with fewer than 60% of those 55 to 64.