Young viewers watching public service broadcasters less, say Ofcom

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Young people are watching public service broadcasters less, according to a report by Ofcom.

The media watchdog published the results of its five-year review of public sector broadcasting on Thursday.

In the 16 to 24 age group, there was a 53-minute drop in daily live TV viewing between 2014 and 2018.

The review states streaming sites such as Netflix and YouTube have provided the likes of the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 with tough competition.

Growth of on-demand

“People are watching the public service broadcasters less, as they are no longer the only or necessarily audiences’ preferred source of content that ‘informs, educates and entertains’,” it reads.

The review, which also covered Channel 5, Scottish channel STV and Welsh-language broadcaster S4C, found while on-demand services such as BBC iPlayer and All 4 are becoming increasingly popular, their growth is failing to make up for the lost live TV viewers.

In 2018 the average time spent watching TV – including using a games console, YouTube and watching DVDs and recorded playback – was four hours 54 minutes per day, with 163 minutes spent watching live TV.

For adults aged 16-34, the total figure was four hours 34 minutes, with 83 minutes watching live TV.

“For children aged 12-15, brand awareness of Netflix and YouTube is now higher tan that for the BBC,” the report added.

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