One-in-four watch more 'on demand' TV than scheduled programmes

May 1, 2012

The future of British TV is choosing 'what to watch and when', says YouGov

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ONE-IN-FOUR Britons watches more television programmes 'on demand' - using services like iPlayer, LoveFilm and Netflix - than they do via traditional channel schedules, according to a YouGov study released yesterday.

Online viewing is highest among young people, with over 40 per cent of 18 – 24-year-olds ignoring old-fashioned "linear TV" to spend the majority of their viewing time watching programmes when they want - on laptops, tablets or a television connected to the internet.

The results of the survey mark a "paradigm shift" in viewing habits, according to YouGov, which predicts 14 per cent of households will own a smart TV by the end of the year.

"We are observing a huge growth in on-demand consumption," said Dan Brilot, YouGov's media consulting director.

"Whilst linear TV is still at the core of most things that most people watch, the next generation who are growing up with the internet's new mode of serving and searching content will increasingly focus their viewing attention to on-demand services," he added.

Time suggests that in America the influx of "catch up" television may have boosted traditional viewing figures. The magazine asked in an article last month if Mad Men's "record" season-premiere viewing figures were "partly the result of new viewers discovering the older seasons of the series on Netflix?"

While in the UK, the change in TV tastes is "all about consumers, rather than schedulers, deciding what to watch and when" said Brilot, the popularity of 'time-shift' TV might not be as widespread as YouGov believes.

Retailer John Lewis estimates that only 15 per cent of people actually connect their sets to the internet, reports The Daily Telegraph. The YouGov survey puts the rate at 75 per cent and says 400,000 homes have smart TVs.

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