Popular British soaps, notably EastEnders and Coronation Street, have seen their audience figures drop considerably, it has been claimed.
According to data released by The Mirror, Corrie’s audience has fallen 19% in the past four years, while EastEnders has fallen by around 37%.
The figures also show that the number of people who watch TV fell by 9% in the first eight weeks of 2021 compared to the same period in 2017.
Slump: EastEnders and Coronation Street saw significant drop in audience figures, it has been claimed (Kellie Bright and Danny Dyer considered Linda and Mick Carter in EastEnders)
In addition to falling audiences for EastEnders and Coronation Street, the ITV soap opera Emmerdale also saw their numbers drop 22% during the period compared.
Stephen Price, rating expert for Broadcast magazine, said: The dominance of mainstream television by soap operas appears to be on the wane, more resilient to challenging linear opposition and the loss of fans to streamers.
“The volume dropping faster than television in general and the challenge of other genres felt more keenly, the conquering prowess of soap operas are disappearing.”
The study also reportedly found that younger viewers shied away from soaps in general, claiming EastEnders lost 53% of viewers aged 16 to 34.
Smaller audience: Viewers on all sides are believed to be on the decline, not just for soap operas (pictured character Grace Vickers, played by Kate Spencer, in a recent racial profiling storyline on Corrie)
ITV told the Mirror: “ITV Soaps are consistently among the most viewed programs in prime time and they are among the top three most viewed on ITV Hub. “
While a BBC spokesperson told MailOnline: “An increasing proportion of viewing of EastEnders and the majority of under 35s is via BBC iPlayer where the public appreciates the ability to watch it on demand.
“Since the show returned to air in September 2020, it has generated 149 million iPlayer streaming requests, making it one of the top performing programs on the service. “
MailOnline has contacted ITV for comment.
Despite the fall, EastEnders and Corrie still manage to maintain overall ratings in the millions.
An Ofcom survey of why TV audience size fell in 2018 also found that “the decrease in popularity of soaps leads to a general decline.”
On the way out? Ratings expert Stephen Price said “soap opera dominance over mainstream television appears to be on the wane” (multiple Emmerdale cast members pictured)
There has been a shift in what people watch over the years, with Eastenders, Corrie and Emmerdale averaging around 8.7 million viewers between them in 2007.
However, ten years later, in 2017, all three soaps had 6.9 million people to watch.
And EastEnders’ assessments last March saw a huge increase, with highs of 9.32 million seen amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
More than 3 million more viewers listened to the average episode of the soap opera, with the show coming just before Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the country over a lockdown to help fight the spread of the virus deadly.
The Sun reported that the episode’s average figure was 6.49 million, while Coronation Street drew 6.43 million viewers in its first episode of the night.