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Teenagers are watching half as much TV as adults says Ofcom


By John McCarthy | Opinion editor

November 26, 2014 | 3 min read

Children watch half as much TV as adults, instead preferring to stream short form content from sites such as YouTube according to research from Ofcom.

Adults were five times more likely to listen to radio than kids

The broadcast regulator’s ‘Children’s Digital Day’ study found that adults over the age of 16 watched an average of less than three hours of TV per day.

This eclipsed the viewing habits of teens between 11-15 who watched an hour and a half of TV per day. Kids between six and 11 clocked up one hour and 50 minutes in front of the screen.

Teens were the most prominent viewers of clips on sites such as YouTube and Vimeo, spending an average of 33 minutes a day watching content, six times longer than adults who viewed only five minutes per day.

Furthermore, 45 per cent of teens watched online video clips every week compared with 20 per cent of adults. These video clips accounted for around a fifth of overall viewing for teenagers, compared with just two per cent for adults.

The study also found that 94 per cent of all UK adults reported watching live TV every week, compared with just over three-quarters of teens and 90 per cent of 6-11 year olds.

Young children were the most likely to watch physical media such as DVDs and Blu-Ray, clocking in at 21 minutes per day. Adults and teens both accumulated an average of 13 minutes.

Acknowledging the growth of on-the-move mobile TV consumption, Ofcom announced earlier this month that it will reclaim some of the digital TV spectrum for 4G data.

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