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Catch-up TV accounts for fifth of UK TV viewing says YouView

Around a fifth of the UK population’s TV viewing is now taken up by catch-up TV content, according to the first ever YouView census on television habits.

Catch-up services like 4oD, BBC iPlayer and ITV Player now account for a fifth of the time Britons spends watching TV content.

The new data comes from the first ever YouView census into national TV watching habits, carried out to celebrate the TV set top box’s first birthday.

With the average UK citizen recording just under nine hours of TV per week, those surveyed said they enjoy six hours of on demand content each week.

“Television is a huge page of British life but we know the way people view it is changing beyond all recognition”, said Steve Conway, Head of Marketing at YouView. “What is becoming important to TV fans is being able to watch what they want, whenever they want it and this research supports that.”

For those aged 18 – 24 years-old, on demand viewing time equates to 20 minutes per week and nine hours of record television viewing. Catch-up TV for this age group is around a third of their weekly TV viewing.

“Among 18-24 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.”

The increasing viewing times of catch-up and on demand television is also being helped by the number of devices that support services like Netflix, LoveFilm and those from the national broadcast channels.

Over three quarters (77 per cent) still name their TV set the main viewing platform for their household, those questioned showed the average home has four devices on which they view television content.

Those aged 18 – 24 said they had six devices for TV content viewing.

“YouView seamlessly integrates live and on demand TV on your television and the results of this survey are interesting as it shows a quarter questioned are now watching more TV than five years ago and more than three quarters watch television content on their TV.”

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