Catch-up or on-demand viewing from services like the BBC iPlayer now account for a fifth of the UK viewing, according to a YouView census into national television habits.
The research, done in partnership with research firm YouGov, found that the average Brit claims to record just under nine hours of TV each week spends around six hours watching shows on demand.
For people aged 18-24 this figure rose to around nine hours and 20 minutes of on-demand viewing a week – just under a third of their weekly TV consumption – while those aged 55 and up said that catch-up accounted for 14% of their viewing.
“Television is a huge part of British life but we know the way people view it is changing beyond all recognition. What is becoming important to TV fans is being able to watch what they want, whenever they want it and this research supports that,” said Steve Conway, head of marketing, YouView.
The survey of more than 2,000 people also found that 77% of those questioned still use their main TV for watching content more than any other device. However, the average home now has four different devices, including the TV, on which they can watch TV – just over double the number they had five years ago. This rises to an average of six devices for 18-24 year olds. Overall, 26% of homes said they have six or more devices they can watch TV on compared to 5% five years ago.
Some 57% of those questioned said they use their computer to watch TV content, 14% do so through a games console like the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 and 25% access TV on a tablet with iPad and iPad mini the favourite at 19% compared to 6% for Android models.
Spending on subscription TV services was found to have increased by around 40% in five years with the average household monthly payment now £29.89 (€34.98), with some 23% spending more than £50 per month. TV-related downloads also account for £1.56 per month from iTunes or the Google Play Store, with men spending £2.03 compared to £1.13 for women.