November 18, 2021

The state of TV music usage across the UK

We checked out which types of music get the most screen time in the UK, mapping how production, commercial and other types of music are used in 6 high-rating channels from September to October 2021.


Last month we looked into TV music usage rates across France and Germany and saw that production music stole the show in both countries. In Germany for example, production music was used 200% more than commercial music. 

What we found in this previous report led us to investigate how the trend continues in other markets. We got stuck into TV music usage data from the UK. 

The national TV watch time has grown continuously since 2013. In 2020, there were around 27 million households in the UK that had televisions, and the average adult spent almost 4 hours a day watching TV. Both the global consumption of audiovisual productions and the international recorded music market have continued to ramp up, leading a boom in music synchronisation.


TL;DR 

• Ads and promos make up 8% of the total airing time.

• Music is used in 42% of the total in-show airing time on TVs across the UK.

• Production music is used 6x more than commercial music on TVs across the UK. 

• We identified production music in 37% of the total airing time.

• Out of all identified music types, commercial music only adds up to 6%.


Download the full report here.

We compiled this report in collab with our partners IPMG as well as sponsors Universal Production Music, Felt Production Music, BAM Music, Gothic Storm and RSM.  

The use of production, commercial and other types of music on TVs across the UK

For this report, we took a sample of our data from the UK from 18 September to 18 October 2021 and 6 TV channels including BBC One, BBC Two, Channel 4, Dave, Discovery Channel UK and ITV, through Reportal TV, our music reporting tool for broadcasters

Ads & promos /in-show uages

Around 8% of the total airing time consisted of ads and promos on the channels we looked at. Music takes over almost half (42%) of the total in-show time (92%) on TVs across the UK.

Music/Non-Music ratio on TV

Here we can also see the amount of music used compared to speech within the channels. We saw the highest music usage rates on Discovery Channel (61%), Dave (50%) and Channel 4 (46%).

Production music is used 6x more than commercial music on TVs across the UK

Out of the 42% of identified music, we discovered 37% was production music and 6% was commercial music. 57% remained unclassified.  What we define as unclassified music are works that can’t be tagged in our database as production or commercial music, therefore it could be Film and TV or commissioned music.

TV music usage types

We identified production music in 37% of the total airing time

We see a predominance of broadcasters using commissioned and Film and TV catalogues, production music is used in 37% of the remaining total TV airing time across the UK. 

Out of all identified music types, commercial music only adds up to 6%

Commercial music only adds up to 6% in the channels we analysed. This could be a result of broadcasters airing in-house productions and shows and therefore being more likely to use music from their own catalogues.

TV music UK

Dave has the highest usage of commissioned and Film and TV music (66%). Production music was used in 28% of their total on-air time. This could be tied to airing reruns of shows produced by the BBC and other major broadcasters, who frequently use their own commissioned catalogue.

Channel 4 only commissions shows from other production companies. They air multiple TV series and films, so we see a high usage rate of Film and TV music (62%). Production music adds up to 33% on the same channel. 

The 1% usage of commercial music we see on the Discovery Channel UK could be related to the airing of documentaries.

We see a high usage of commissioned and Film and TV music on BBC One. This could be a result of the channel broadcasting many in-house productions and shows, for which they would use music from their own catalogue.

The usage rates of production music (46%) and commissioned and Film and TV music (46%) are identical on BBC Two. This could be a result of the channel airing more independent productions and TV shows than BBC One.

“We did this report for IPMG with the joint intention of quantifying the airtime on TV that production music is played compared to other types such as commercial and commissioned music. In the UK, the numbers show production music is played around 40% that there’s music detected. This shows the important value it adds to the TV productions. We hope this information will help the libraries, publishers and associations in their task of promoting the value of this type of music.”

Luis Ruano, Production Music Service Lead at BMAT 

Please feel free to reuse, host, or share the data from this study with your loved ones and enemies alike. We only kindly ask you to credit bmat.com or this article.


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