Ofcom Worried as UK Becomes a Nation of Streamers

Traditional broadcasters such as BBC are struggling as younger audiences and households are turning to streaming services. A recent report by Ofcom details that half of the homes in the UK now have streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Now TV or Disney Life. The subscriptions for these streaming services have leapt each quarter as the demand for traditional television broadcasters’ declines. Despite this vulnerable state, Ofcom insists that traditional broadcasters lead the way on UK content. According to Ofcom, traditional broadcasters show more than 100 times more original, UK-made content and shows than any of the overseas streaming giants.

Rapid Shift in Streaming Habits

The way the UK, and the world, watches television is changing drastically and rapidly. Channels are becoming less and less relevant and people are increasing streaming the video they watch, and the pace of change is increasing. With many homes using more than one streaming service, the total number of UK streaming service subscriptions rose by a quarter in 2018 – from 15.6m to 19.1m.

Traditional television viewing is falling at an accelerating rate. This change is driven by the changing habits and preferences of UK viewers. Being able to stream whatever you want, whenever you want and wherever you want is more appealing to the millions of youngsters that spend more than an hour a day on YouTube every day. Furthermore, two in five UK adults now consider online video streaming services to be their main way of watching TV and film. People under 35 watch YouTube, Netflix, ITV and BBC One in that order while over 35s spend most time of the BBC one service.

Ofcom: Best of British

Ofcom insists that traditional broadcasters are still making better, UK-made production and content that is the ‘best of British’ television. However, the declining television ratings and viewers turning to streaming services may suggest that it is not only the convenience of overseas streaming services and sites, but also their content that entices younger audiences towards them.