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Average adult ‘watched over five hours of TV and video content per day’

·2-min read

The average UK adult watched more than five hours of television and video content per day in 2020, research suggests.

Broadcast watchdog Ofcom said that amid the pandemic the number of streaming subscriptions rose by 50% to 31 million.

As part of its annual study into viewing habits, Ofcom found the average adult spent five hours and 40 minutes watching content on platforms including live TV, DVDs, streaming services and YouTube.

Ofcom report
(Philip Toscano/PA)

The 2020 total was a rise of 47 minutes on 2019.

The average time spent watching traditional broadcast TV was three hours and 12 minutes.

This was nine minutes more than the previous year, but broadcast TV’s overall viewing share dropped from 67% to 61%.

For those aged between 16 and 24 the average time spent watching broadcast TV was one hour and 17 minutes.

The average adult spent an hour and five minutes watching streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+.

Netflix and SkyGo app
(Ian West/PA)

Netflix had 29 of the 30 most watched programmes on subscription services in the first quarter of 2021, Ofcom said.

Bridgerton was a “particular success”, the watchdog said, being watched in 8.2 million homes by the end of March.

A total of 52% of households have a Netflix subscription, according to the watchdog’s research.

Yih-Choung Teh, Ofcom’s group director of strategy and research, said: “TV and online video have proved an important antidote to lockdown life, with people spending a third of their waking hours last year glued to screens for news and entertainment.

“The pandemic undoubtedly turbo-charged viewing to streaming services, with three in five UK homes now signed up.

“But with subscribed growth slowing into 2021 and lockdown restrictions easing, the challenge for the likes of Netflix, Amazon and Disney will be to ensure a healthy pipeline of content and keep customers signed up.”

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