Use of streaming services and TV soared during lockdown peak, according to Ofcom

Ofcom's Media Nations 2020 report said that the average time spent in front of a TV screen was six hours, 25 minutes a day throughout April.

Ofcom

A new Ofcom report has revealed that adults living in the UK spent almost half of their working day in front of the television during the peak of coronavirus lockdown.

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Ofcom’s Media Nations 2020 report said that the average time spent in front of a TV screen was six hours, 25 minutes a day throughout April – which equates to almost 45 hours a week – an increase of 31 per cent from the same month last year.

The media watchdog also said that Britons used streaming services twice as much as usual during that time, with twelve million adults signing up to new platforms and people watching for an average of one hour 11 minutes per day.

This surge includes an increase in older viewers turning to streaming services, with 32 per cent of 55-64-year-olds, and 15 per cent of people aged over 65 using platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+, up from 25 per cent and 12 per cent respectively.

New streaming service Disney+ has enjoyed a strong start since its UK launch in March, with 16 per cent of online adults having signed up to the platform by early July, become the third most-popular streaming service n the country behind Netflix (45 per cent) and Amazon Prime Video (39 per cent) – overtaking NOW TV (10 per cent) in the process.

Meanwhile, the report also revealed that March saw public service broadcasters enjoy their highest monthly share of broadcast TV  in six years – with the figure standing at 59 per cent – while catch-up platforms including BBC iPlayer and All4 have also seen a surge in usage throughout the pandemic.

iPlayer saw a record 570 million programme requests in May, a 72 per cent increase from the same month last year, while All 4, also saw a 30% jump in use among 16-34-year-olds in the first two weeks of lockdown.

Radio listening was broadly resilient during lockdown, according to the report, but it also outlined that the sector would need to weather the advertising market downturn exacerbated by Covid-19.

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