The UK broadcast regulator’s research claims that UK viewers are now using TV gadgets “more than any other major country” and that catch-up viewing is ahead of “all other major European countries and the USA, Japan and Australia.”
“TV viewers in the UK appear to be the most technologically-advanced of European nations, as the growing trend for time-shifted viewing offers an end to the traditional battle for the remote control this Christmas,” said Ofcom.
Based on a sample gathered in September and October, 81% of online adults in the UK used an online service to watch TV or films in the past month, 70% used free broadcaster-offered catch-up services like the ITV Hub, All 4 or the iPlayer to watch TV, while 16% watched catch-up TV on a tablet.
Ofcom also said that the UK a leader for viewing on connected TVs, with 42% of homes owning a TV connected to the internet – higher than any country sampled except Spain.
“Families gathering round for a film this Christmas are increasingly likely to turn to catch-up services like All 4 or Sky-on-Demand. Seven in ten owners of the UK’s connected TV owners are watching such content, while more than half (54%) are watching content via a subscription service such as Netflix or Amazon Instant Video,” said Ofcom.
The regulator estimated that consumers and advertisers in the UK spent £908m on online content services last year, up from £631m in 2013 and just £102m in 2009.
However, despite these trends, Ofcom added that “traditional live TV remains the most popular way of tuning in” with people in the UK watching an average 3 hours 40 minutes of TV per day.