NEWS12 July 2016

‘Widening gap’ between viewing habits of youngest and oldest

Media News Trends UK Youth

TV viewing on TV sets has fallen significantly in the last five years, but the drop is greatest among 16-24 year-olds and smallest among over-65s, according to a new Ofcom report. 

According to its annual report on public service broadcasting, on average, people in the UK watched three hours and 36 minutes of measured broadcast TV in a typical day in 2015. This is 26 minutes a day less than in 2010. 

This represents an 11% fall in time spent watching TV. Among 16-24 year-olds, however, this drop was more than a quarter; among 25-34 year-olds it was 19%; among 35-44 year-olds it was 17%; among 55-64 year-olds it was 5%; and among over-65s the time was largely unchanged. 

While the accelerated rate of decline in viewing since 2012 slowed for almost all under-65 age groups between 2014 and 2015, among 16-24 year olds the rate of decline continued to speed up (by 10.5%). This is the biggest annual drop for this age group since 2010. 

The decline in TV viewing has largely been attributed to on-demand viewing, such as BBC iPlayer, All4, Netflix and Amazon, with reach rising to around seven in ten among 15-24 year-olds and 25-34 year-olds.