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UK adults spend 65% of video viewing time on TV sets but for young adults the figure is 35%

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Data from GfK illustrates the polarization in viewing habits between adults in total and young adults in the UK. Findings just released from GfK’s international ViewScape study show that when it comes to watching video-based content, UK adults spend two-thirds (65%) of their total viewing time watching via TV sets. Only one-fifth of total viewing is via PCs or laptops.

For the UK’s young adults (those aged 18 to 24) the picture is quite different and the majority of their viewing time is spent on PCs or laptops. This accounts for 41% of their total video viewing, while viewing on a TV set accounts for just over one-third (35%).

Julia Lamaison, Director of Media Research and Insights at GfK (which provides market and consumer information), comments: “There are many reasons underlying these findings, including the trend for this younger age group to view less live or scheduled TV content and more on-demand and online streamed video. Added to that is the fact that access to a TV set is lower amongst this group than for all adults: only 84% of these young adults say they own a TV set, compared to 95% amongst all adults.”

The online viewing of young adults is still driven by traditional TV sources, it should be noted. For those aged 18 to 24 years old, time spent viewing on a PC or laptop is 2 hours and 35 minutes per day, with nearly three-quarters (73%) of that content comprising TV programmes and movies, according to the ViewScape study.

On the average day, British adults as a whole spend around 55 minutes viewing video content via a PC or laptop – with 67% of the content viewed being traditional formats, i.e. TV programmes and movies.

Lamaison concludes: “We are seeing evidence of real change in the ways in which audiences in the UK consume video content – and nowhere is this more evident than amongst young adults. Our study shows a new generation of young adults who are completely engaged with video but who are viewing in a variety of different ways and using a wider range of devices than previous generations.”

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