GM Thought Of The Week: ‘It is what it is – Children ARE watching Love Island’

love island

GM Thought Of The Week: ‘It is what it is – Children ARE watching Love Island’

ITV has struck TV rating gold once again with Love Island.  It was not intended to be family viewing but ‘it is what it is’.


Its summer and that means one thing: Love island is back. Any doubts as to whether this show would continue to capture the British public’s imagination were quashed when this meme began circulating across social media:


love islandAppointment TV in the most literal sense.  ITV have clearly cracked the code for show formats and this year, they have extended the season to eight weeks.  We know from previous reality shows like Big brother, there is a definitive shelf life for this content so we cannot blame them for capitalising on the success for as long as they can.


On Monday night’s premier episode, Love island’s average viewing figures 3,026,000 Adult impacts and 5.95 TVRs peaking at 21:30.  To put this into some sort of perspective, ten times as many people watched Love Island on Monday than the London Marathon this year.


Part of Love Island’s success is no doubt the social currency.  From the physical items like water bottles and slogan t-shirts (Bev, anyone?!) to the memes.  The hashtag ‘Loveisland’ is at almost half a million posts on Instagram after only five days. A few decades ago we would have used the term ‘Water cooler moments’ and talked about the desire to be participate in them.  Today its ‘FOMO’ (Fear of missing out).  If you are not watching Love Island, you will likely fail to keep up with the office ‘banter’ the following day.


The overnight figures revealed children are also watching.  Average viewing figures from Monday demonstrated 274,000 children impacts and 2.92 TVRs. On BARB the term children is used for four to sixteen year olds. Initially, one could think that the data has been skewed by teenagers, who would predictably be watching Love Island.  However, upon further analysis we were able to see 45,000 children aged 4-9 were tuning in.   This raises concern due to the sexual nature of the show; the language and more recently the negative implications on body image.  Plus it is definitely past bed time!


Arguably ITV have acted responsibly: the show is broadcast after the water- shed and they broadcast a ‘warning disclaimer’ at the beginning of the show.  We can approximate from the data that this is likely a shared family viewing experience.  Therefore parents are present to explain or censor any unsuitable ‘hot tub’ moments.  Is this enough though as the figures we analysed do not take into consideration children streaming the show to devices!


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