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NEWS10 December 2015

UK TV viewers most tech advanced in Europe

News UK

UK — TV viewing online is higher in the UK than other countries with Ofcom research predicting 70% ( 31 million) adults will be watching TV via free-to-air catch-up services this month.

TV viewers in the UK appear to be the most technologically-advanced of European nations, as the trend for time-shifted viewing continues to grow. Online adults in the UK are the most likely to watch catch-up TV on a tablet ( 16%) and use an online service to watch TV or films ( 81%).

However, traditional live TV remains the most popular way of tuning in, particularly on New Year’s Eve when more than nine in 10 viewers ( 11.4 million) watched live at midnight last year.

The findings are part of Ofcom’s International Communications Market Report 2015, which also show that overall, people in the UK are watching 3 hours 40 minutes of TV per day, just below the average among sampled countries of 3 hours 43 minutes. Americans watch the most TV overall ( 4 hours 42 minutes), while the Swedish watch the least ( 2 hours 33 minutes).

The UK saw the greatest decline in traditional live TV viewing among comparator countries, decreasing by 4.9% from 2013 to 2014.

Consumers and advertisers in this country spent £908m on online TV content services last year, up  44% from £631m in 2013, and from just £102m in 2009. Although increasing, they are still small compared with the £14bn generated by the TV industry in 2014, of which 45% was generated by pay-TV subscriptions.

James Thickett, Ofcom director of research, said: “UK viewers won’t be tied to the TV schedule this Christmas. More than anywhere else, we’re watching TV and films at a time that suits us, on a range of devices, in and out of the home.”