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BBC generation gap widens as young people switch off

Increasingly, the BBC faces competition from the likes of Netflix and YouTube

A fresh report from Ofcom has found that increasing numbers of young people are switching off the BBC's television and radio output.

The TV regulator found that increasing competition from the likes of YouTube and Netflix has led younger viewers to divide their attention.

People aged 16 to 24 now spend just 80 minutes on BBC content each day – half the average time all age groups as a whole spend.

In a statement Ofcom wrote: “In part, this reflects a wider shift in their viewing habits. But young people spend almost as much time watching ITV on a TV set, for example, as BBC One (compared to viewers as a whole, who spend around 50% more time watching BBC One than ITV).

"Few young people choose to watch BBC Three online. Younger people are also more likely to listen to commercial, rather than BBC, radio stations.

“The BBC recognises it needs to do more, and more quickly, to reach young people who are critical to its future success. As well as providing content that appeals, it needs to find new ways of reaching younger people that suit and reflect their viewing and listening habits.”

Defending its performance a BBC spokesperson claimed that young people still spend more time with the BBC than other media providers; including YouTube, Spotify and Netflix.

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