Prior to yesterday’s exciting Eurovision 2018 announcement where Lisbon was revealed as next year’s host city, the EBU announced the official audience statistics from this year’s contest in Kyiv. A total of 183 million people watched at least one of the three live shows for at least a minute. Furthermore, Eurovision was responsible for significantly boosting the viewing shares for television channels broadcasting the contest all over Europe.
Have a look at the EBU infographic!
— EBU (@EBU_HQ) July 25, 2017
Number of viewers
183 million viewers tuned into the Eurovision Song Contest this year. The number is calculated by including every single person who watched at least one of the three Eurovision live shows for at least one minute. This is a 21 million decrease on the same figure for the 2016 contest in Stockholm. Following Russia’s decision to not participate in or broadcast the contest, research by EuroVisionary discovered that this could be responsible for a viewing figure drop of approximately 30 million. Thankfully, the impact wasn’t quite as dramatic as feared. With Russia returning to the competition next year, there is no reason why viewing figures won’t break 200 million in Lisbon.
In addition, 265 million hours of Eurovision 2017 were viewed on television sets around the world. This works out to an average of 1 hour 27 minutes per viewer. There is the belief that many viewers do only tune in for the exciting grand final voting sequence which lasts under an hour. Therefore, this could be one reason as to why the figure is substantially less than the grand final’s 3 hours 45 minutes running time. Of course, this figure accounts for semi-final viewing as well. Although, semi-final figures are always much lower worldwide than those for the grand final.
TV channel viewing shares
Another key indicator is the viewing shares Eurovision attracts throughout Europe. A viewing share is how many people who are watching television in a country are watching a particular channel. In 2017, on average, the channels broadcasting the grand final of Eurovision achieved a 36% viewing share. Hence, 36% of people watching television on that Saturday night was watching Eurovision on their respective national TV channels. The EBU tells us that, when combining all of Eurovision’s broadcasters together, this figure is double what these channels would normally get during that Saturday night programme slot. Therefore, Eurovision is continuing to be a reliable programme to boost viewing figures for channels all over Europe.
As always, many shows determine their success by how successfully they appeal to the so-called “hard to reach youth audience”. The youth audience is usually considered to be viewers between 16 and 24 years-old. It turns out that 43% of the youth audience that watched television that night watched Eurovision 2017! This is four times the youth audience compared to what the Eurovision-broadcasting TV channels would usually get on a Saturday night. Therefore, for these broadcasters, Eurovision consistently rates as one of the main shows to attract a substantial youth audience to their TV channel.
Both of these figures are consistent with last year. This shows that Eurovision’s popularity is staying at the same high level. This is despite the decreasing in overall viewing figures due to Russia’s withdrawal. Last year’s viewing share figures can be seen below.
— EBU (@EBU_HQ) June 16, 2016
Social media engagement
Perhaps the massive interest in Eurovision amongst younger audiences is due to Eurovision’s continuing focus on its use of social media. Over 3 million people watched Eurovision’s official Snapchat story. 74% of these were under 24-years-old. It is using social media platforms like these to with a younger audience that has the knock-on effect of them tuning in for the live TV shows and increasing the youth audience viewer share!
During the Eurovision week, users on the official Eurovision YouTube channel watched 7 million hours of video. These users were from 236 different territories. 30% of these hours were accumulated by users live streaming the 3 live Eurovision shows. Eurovision is continuing to have a massive impact outside of Europe with fans flocking in from all over the world. Furthermore, the official Eurovision social media channels amassed 5 million engagement actions, a reaction, a comment, a share, across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!
What do you think of the EBU’s findings? Do you think Eurovision has a sustainable future? Let us know in the comments below and via our social media pages @ESCXTRA!