News: 70% of UK adults will use free-to-air catch-up services like BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub this month.
A new research has revealed that viewers in the UK are shifting away from traditional TV this Christmas in favour of catch-up services via their gadgets, indicating that Britons are the most technologically advanced of European nations.
According to Ofcom’s annual International Communications Market Report, 70% of UK adults will use free-to-air catch-up services like BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub this month, more than all other major European countries and the US, Japan and Australia.
16% of online adults in the UK were found to watch catch-up TV on a tablets, with 81% using an online service to watch TV or films.
The UK experienced the greatest decline in traditional live TV viewing among comparator countries, decreasing by 4.9% from 2013 to 2014.
Meanwhile, some 42% of homes in the UK have a TV connected to the internet, more than any of the other countries Ofcom researched at except Spain.
Ofcom said families gathering round for a film this Christmas are increasingly likely to turn to catch-up services like All 4 or Sky-on-Demand.
Seven in ten of the UK’s connected TV owners are watching such content, while 54% are watching content via a subscription service like Netflix or Amazon Video Prime.
The report suggests that the shift to catch-up services is resulting in the rapid decline of the DVD player.
Only 8% of viewers in the UK said they had watched more DVDs or Blu-Ray discs this year, while 32% said they had used them less.
Ofcom director of research James Thickett said: "UK viewers won’t be tied to the TV schedule this Christmas.
"More than anywhere else, we’re watching TV and films at a time that suits us, on a range of devices, in and out of the home. So this year, more people can fit their festive TV viewing around opening presents and carving the turkey."