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Ofcom: older viewers driving COVID-19 boost in streaming

UK adults doubled the amount of time spent on streamers during the peak of the Covid-19 lockdown, a report from the country’s media regulator has found.

Ofcom revealed the finding in its Media Nations 2020 report, adding that 12 million adults had signed up to streaming services in April, with three million of those having never subscribed before.

The average time spent in front of a screen during April stood at six hours and 24 minutes, 31% up on the same month last year. People watched streaming services for an average of one hour and 11 minutes each day, the report added, with those aged between 16 and 34 watching for two hours on average.

Older viewers were a key component of that uptick, with 32% of 55 to 64-year-olds using SVOD services, while one sixth of people aged over 65 watched streamers such as Amazon and Netflix. Those figures stood at 25% and 12% respectively last year.

Disney+, which launched in the UK on the same day as lockdown came into force in the country, was among major winners, attracting 16% of online adults by early July. It is now the third most-popular SVOD behind Netflix (45%) and Amazon Prime Video (39%).

Public service broadcasters also benefited from locked down viewers, taking a 59% share – the highest figure for six years. The BBC’s iPlayer recorded 570 million programme requests in May, 72% up on the same time last year, while 16 to 34’s use of Channel 4’s on demand service All4 was up 30% in the first two weeks of lockdown.

Tags: Ofcom, UK