YouView: Catch-up a fifth of TV viewing

The use of catch-up or on demand television services such as BBC iPlayer and ITV Player now accounts for a fifth of the nation’s TV viewing according to the first-ever YouView census into national television habits for 2013.

It also found that in a typical week, the average Brit claims to record just under nine hours of TV each week and spends around six hours taking advantage of the ability to tune in to their favourite shows on demand.

The study, to mark IPTV platform YouView’s first birthday on July 4, indicated that among 18-24s this rises to nine hours and 20 minutes of on demand viewing, which is just under a third of their weekly TV enjoyment. The next generation’s on demand viewing habits appear to be similar, suggests the study. Parents of under-16s, who were questioned as part of the survey, estimate their kids watch on average seven hours of catch-up per week.

The research also indicated that even for the over 55s catch-up still makes up 14 per cent of their viewing time.

Alongside these figures, the study identified a host of key changes and trends in the habits of telly addicts when it comes to the different technologies available to them.

While three quarters (77 per cent) of those questioned still use their main TV the most, the average home now has four different devices (including their main TV) on which they can watch TV, which is just over double the number they had five years ago. However, this rises to an average of six devices for the 18-24 year olds questioned.

The study of more than 2000 people, carried out by YouGov for YouView, also found that while the average home records around 10 programmes in a typical week, they delete four of those on average without watching them – with entertainment the mostly likely (36 per cent) to be binned followed by films (32 per cent) and documentaries (32 per cent).

Steve Conway, Head of Marketing, YouView, said that television was a huge part of British life but the way people view it is changing beyond all recognition. “What is becoming important to TV fans is being able to watch what they want, whenever they want it and this research supports that. Among 18 to 24 year olds, 37 per cent said the ability to watch on demand TV was very important compared to a quarter nationally and as a nation we are craving more and more time with our favourite programmes, on our own terms,” he advised.

According to Conway, the results of the survey are interesting as it indicates that a quarter of those questioned are now watching more TV than five years ago and more than three quarters watch television content on their TV.

The research also found that across the country, alongside their TV, 57 per cent of those questioned said they use their computer to watch television content, 14 per cent do so through a games console like the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 and 25 per cent access TV on a tablet with iPad and iPad mini the favourite at 19 per cent vs. 6 per cent for Android models.

Spending on subscription TV services has also increased by around 40 per cent in five years with the average household monthly payment now £29.89. Nearly a quarter (23 per cent) spend more than £50 per month. TV-related downloads also account for £1.56 per month from iTunes or the Google Play Store, with men spending £2.03 versus £1.13 for women.

Other highlights from the study include:

  • 1hr 49mins of TV is claimed to be watched out of the home each week (e.g. while commuting or travelling)
  • Just under one in 10 (9 per cent) men claim they use a device to watch TV at work during a lunch break
  • One in 10 (9 per cent) people claim they used a computer most often to view TV
  • 46 per cent would like the ability to watch programmes whenever they like without waiting for an initial broadcast
  • Around a fifth (21 per cent) would like the ability to create a more personalised programme guide
  • 30 per cent still tend to use a printed TV guide to find out what’s on television
  • 55 per cent have purchased a new television as their main set in the last three years
  • 17 per cent of respondents claim to have bought a new TV in the last year – the same number who’ve had theirs at least five years
  • The most common TV size is 32inch with 24 per cent who have a TV in their household owning one. Just under a fifth (19 per cent) have a 42inch television
  • One in 10 (11 per cent) claim however that they now own a television over 46 inches or more
  • 46 per cent have an HD-ready TV but don’t currently watch any HD content
  • 10 per cent think their household will buy a 4K TV within the next two to three years
  • 29 per cent claim to watch TV in the bedroom (32 per cent male versus 27 per cent female)

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