A growing reliance on smartphones and tablets is affecting TV viewing, particularly among the young.
Ofcom’s latest Communications Market Report says most 16-24 year olds are watching on-demand and catch up programmes on computers and smartphones rather than on a TV connected to a set-top box.
Nearly six in ten young people (57%) regularly watch on demand and catch-up TV on their laptop or PC. Almost half (45%) watch on a smartphone, and four in ten (40%) switch on a set-top box.
However, despite the growth in online viewing, TV still reaches the vast majority of the UK population. The figures are down slightly, from 93% in 2013 to 92% in 2014.
The greatest drop was seen among children (aged 4-15), falling by 12% from 2 hours and 14 minutes in 2013 to 1 hour and 58 minutes in 2014. Those aged 25-34 watched nearly 9% less, from 3 hours and 5 minutes to 2 hours and 49 minutes while 16-24 year olds watched 6% less TV, from 2 hours and 28 minutes to 2 hours and 18 minutes.
Despite this, Among adults, the TV is the device people say they would miss the most, cited by close to four in ten (37%).
The take-up and use of Video-on-Demand (VOD) services has risen dramatically. Almost six in ten adults say they have used at least one VOD service in the past 12 months.
In the second half of 2014, 57% of all adults accessed at least one on-demand service, up
from 27% in the first half of 2010.
Netflix paid subscriptions are now in 4,372,000 (16%) of UK households (as at Q1 2015); Amazon Prime reaches 1,155,000 and NOW TV 523,000.
According to data supplied to Ofcom by IHS, revenue from online TV grew by 38% in 2014 to £793m, with income from online TV subscriptions increasing by 53% to £317m, driven by the increasing popularity of services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video.