Cord Cutting in UK

You may have seen a report this week that us Brits are watching less TV than ever before. In line with the rise of Netflix and Amazon Prime the average TV viewing has fallen by 14 minutes since 2013, according to new research. The study, from HIS, looked at TV viewing times across the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

European-wide trends

New research from IHS Technology indicates that traditional broadcast television viewing is being overtaken by two forces: Personal Video Recorders (PVRs) like Sky+ and online video from services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer. More time than ever before is being shifted from traditional broadcast television to online.

UK – Fast adopters of online viewing

n the UK, 2014 saw record lows for traditional TV viewing time, with the average Brit watching around three hours of TV each day, down 14 minutes from the year before. The growth in time-shifted viewing, or the sum of all recorded programming and online consumption, meant that Brits actually watched less TV in total in 2014 than in 2013.

“The UK was an early mover with high quality online catch-up services from local broadcasters like the BBC and Channel 4,” said Dan Cryan, senior director of media and content at IHS Technology. “This has now been joined with clever marketing initiatives like ‘digital box sets’ from Sky and the presence of the major platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime.”

In 2005, under three minutes a day was spent watching recorded TV, but in 2014, Brits spent approximately 43 minutes a day watching recorded shows on services like Sky+ and YouView, concluded the study.

USA – A quiet revolution as Cord Cutting continues

Americans watched an average of 351 minutes of TV per day, equivalent to almost six hours.

“Americans use TV differently to many other parts of the world,” Cryan said. “While Europeans will put on the radio for background noise, Americans will turn on the TV. This helps to explain why American linear TV viewing is remains higher than economically challenged Italy.”

Traditional TV has an entrenched role in American lives, but that position is being chipped away by alternative content and consumption models. “We are seeing a quiet revolution in the way that Americans watch video,” Cryan said.

The decline in linear TV has been more or less offset by the growth of other forms of viewing. Online long-form programming from the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime grew 24 percent per person at a national level in 2014, although the consumption growth from the users of online services is frequently much higher than this.

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