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Young watching seven times less broadcast TV than over 65s

Young adults are watching seven times less broadcast TV than those aged 65+, according to new figures published today, as they continue to bypass traditional broadcasters and enjoy streaming services.

While those aged 65 and over spend almost six hours a day enjoying broadcast TV, the average for people aged 16-24 is less than an hour, a fall of two-thirds in the last decade, according to data released by Ofcom.

Viewing figures of over 10 million for the 2022 Women’s Euro final, and the popularity of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, show that broadcast television is still a popular choice for momentous national events, the regulator said, but added that public service broadcasters continue to see a drop in audiences.

This drop is the result of the rise of streaming, on-demand and social video services, which hit record subscription levels during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The streaming revolution is stretching the TV generation gap, creating a stark divide in the viewing habits of younger and older people,” Ian Macrae, Ofcom’s Director of Market Intelligence, said.

“Traditional broadcasters face tough competition from online streaming platforms, which they’re partly meeting through the popularity of their own on-demand player apps,” he added.

Around a fifth of UK homes now subscribe to all three of the most popular platforms – Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ – costing around £300 per year.

But as the cost of living crisis takes its toll, subscription rates to these streaming giants have started to fall.

In April, research from Kantar Worldpanel showed that the number of households with a subscription to at least one streaming platform had fallen by 215,000 in the first quarter, and 1.66 million services were cancelled in the second quarter of 2022.

Cutting costs was identified as the reason for over a third of cancellations, with people needing to budget for higher prices and energy bills.

Netflix, which has put its subscription fee up twice in the past year, lost 206,000 subscribers between April and June, while the number of UK homes subscribed to Prime Video fell by 598,000 in the second quarter of this year. Amazon Prime is set to increase its subscription fee from £7.99 to £8.99 in September. CITY A.M.

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