Even longtime watchers over 65 tuned out of traditional broadcast TV in record numbers last year. Teens and young adults aged 16 to 24 increasingly turn to “snackable” entertainment on platforms like TikTok and YouTube rather than traditional television programming like news broadcasts and soap operas. According to Ofcom’s Media Nations report, there has been a drop from 83% in 2021 to 79% in 2022 in the percentage of people who watch conventional TV at least once per week.
Public service broadcasters and streamers compete for viewers’ time, leading to a fall in conventional broadcast watching. On-demand players enjoy excellent development as they digitalize their services to match the requirements of audiences, but public sector broadcasters remain unrivaled in their ability to bring the country together for significant cultural and athletic events. The percentage of subscribers aged 65 and above who use Disney+ has doubled from a year ago, from 7% to 12%. Remakes of iconic British entertainment, such as the comedy film The Full Monty, may increase Disney+’s appeal to an older demographic.
From 2021 to 2022, the average time people spent each day viewing broadcast television decreased from 2 hours and 59 minutes to 2 hours and 38 minutes. BBC One and ITV1 continue to attract a larger weekly audience than Netflix, although BBC iPlayer and ITVX saw increased viewership. Sixty-nine percent of viewers say they are happy with public service broadcasters.
Since 2022, the number of shows with over four million viewers has dropped by more than half. This is due to a decline in viewers for all three of the most popular soaps, EastEnders, Coronation Street, and Emmerdale.
The ‘core’ older viewers, aged 65+, are also more inclined to choose streaming services, according to Ofcom’s study, which reveals a considerable reduction in average broadcast TV watching among this demographic. According to the data, the top three most-watched programs in the UK in 2022 were all related to the Royal Family: the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, and England’s quarterfinal in the Fifa World Cup.
The number of programs with four million viewers or more has dropped by half in the last eight years, making it clear that these “mass audience” shows, which bring people of all generations together, are on the wane. Soap opera ratings have fallen 42% during 2014, along with those of other late-night and early-morning newscasts.
Users under the age of 25 are spending roughly an hour every day on TikTok, and this pace has not decreased despite the site’s growing popularity. Most of the growth occurred in the 25-34 age bracket, where weekly viewership increased from 4.2 million to 5 million.