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Traditional TV Viewing is on the Decline Because it Sucks and No One Wants to Wait to Watch Things

By Shabana Arif on at

Ofcom wants you to know that live TV viewing is still a thing by pretending that catch up on-demand doesn't fall under the purview of streaming, but we all know that's a load of old bollocks.

Around half of all households in the UK have a subscription to a streaming service like Netflix or Amazon Prime, which is up from 11.2m last year to 13.3m this year.

Broadcast telly is still getting a look in, with an average of 3 hours and 12 minutes getting watched per day in 2018 out of the five hours people were watching somehow. That's over half a working day. Where are you people finding the time? Whose viewing habits is this based on?

The younger generation (16-24 so we're talking actual babies here) are only watching 85 minutes of broadcast TV a day by comparison, with YouTube being their most-watched platform.

As you can see from this handy graphic from Ofcom's report (total video minutes per person per day, adults 16-34, all devices: 2018) it's qualifying things as broadcast TV that could fall under streaming, because the programme would have originally aired on the likes of a BBC channel for example.

While there has been a decline in viewership when it comes to broadcast TV, it's got nothing to do with the quality of programming but more about how it's delivered. We like things on our own schedule these days, which is why BBC's Killing Eve was dropped on iPlayer in its entirety as soon as the first episode aired, with 4.6 million people watching the series one finale online compared to the 3.3 million who watched it live.

On the whole, live TV viewing is on the decline while Ofcom's two other categories - YouTube and SVoD content - are on the rise, and as all of the 30-plus-year olds start dying off we'll see an even starker contrast between them no doubt. Perhaps we can get a Logan's Run/The Running Man mash-up on the go, and set them all free into the wild to kill each other while we televise it. Who wouldn't watch that? [Ofcom via BBC News]

Feature image credit: Unsplash