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Binge-watching is becoming increasingly popular with TV viewers in the UK, new figures have revealed.

According to Ofcom's new Communications Market Report, 79 per cent of British adults often watch multiple episodes of the same programme back-to-back in a single sitting.

Some 35 per cent were found to do this at least once a week, with young people in particular keen to spend time binge-watching.

Figures showed that 86 per cent of teenagers regularly binge-watch, while 53 per cent do so at least weekly.

By contrast, just 56 per cent of over-64s regularly watch multiple episodes of the same show in one sitting, and only 16 per cent do this at least once a week.

"As the reach of paid-for on-demand services has increased, so has the availability of entire series," Ofcom observed.

"It is no longer necessary to wait a whole week to find out what happens after the cliffhanger, and many people are taking advantage of this."

The report went on to reveal that people are most likely to watch live broadcast TV either to watch the news or if they want some background noise.

Some 67 per cent said they prefer on-demand services because they can avoid adverts. Meanwhile, 54 per cent stated that they enjoy having the freedom to choose when and where they watch a programme and what device to view it on.

Ewan Taylor-Gibson, Telecoms Expert at uSwitch.com, commented: "Almost eight in ten adults [admit] to watching multiple episodes in a single sitting.

“This is of course driven by online TV services, with the public service broadcasters' online services, such as BBC iPlayer and All4, being accessed by a significant two-thirds of adults, while our own research suggests that more than three-quarters of children will be watching on-demand TV services this summer.

"Increasing uptake of and investment in online subscription services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime have also helped to fuel this trend, with new and ultra-hyped content landing on such platforms on a regular basis.

"Traditional broadcast providers appear to have learned a valuable lesson from this, and have begun to mimic this on their own platforms by offering access to box sets as standard practice.

“Pay TV providers are going even further to hook customers, with Sky’s recently announced VIP loyalty scheme rewarding existing customers for sticking by them.

“As binge-watching becomes an increasingly common way for viewers to consume television, freeing the public from the tyranny of being tied down to the TV schedule, providers will need to think about new ways to differentiate and it will be interesting to see how this trend evolves over the coming years.”

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