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95% of UK public stream, plus 4 more TV habits from Rakuten Advertising

By John Glenday | Reporter



Future of TV article

April 6, 2022 | 4 min read

The UK public’s love affair with streaming shows no sign of souring in the latest media survey conducted by Rakuten Advertising, which shows an overwhelming 95% of the British public now indulge in one way or another.

A poll of 4,000 UK adults aged 18-57 found that a mere 5% are holding out against the streaming onslaught by sticking doggedly to traditional TV. So how is this shaping our viewing habits?

The Drum has pulled together the highlights.


5 things you need to know about streaming habits

Streaming viewers are predominantly multitaskers

  • Box-set bingers are unlikely to be giving their undivided attention according to the report, which found that 49% of viewers ‘always’ have their mobile phone on, with a scant 3% turning off completely

  • When asked what forms of content constituted a standard viewing session, 67% cited movies, ahead of 52% who prefer to binge-watch their favorite show

  • Just 32% are drawn to sporting events and 28% pick out long-form documentaries in general

Connected TV is the primary streaming device

  • While connected TV (CTV) remains the medium of choice for accessing streaming content – with 40% ‘most likely’ to fire up the largest screen in the home while viewing – mobile phones are not far behind, with 32% plumping for their smallest screen

  • Other common distractions include laptops, tablets and desktop computers, with 3-13% of both men and women electing to consult a second screen while consuming content

But mobiles still play their part

  • Asked specifically about mobile phone use while watching streamed television and film, 34% stated that they ‘most often’ messaged others, while 47% browsed the internet

  • A further 12% of respondents dug into their pockets to partake in impromptu gaming sessions while sitting on the couch

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  • The high usage rates can be attributed to the fact that 49% ‘always’ have their phone in their possession while watching streaming TV, with a further 34% having a device to hand ‘most of the time’ and 10% ‘half of the time’

What are they doing on the second screen?

  • Quizzed on their reasons for reaching for an internet-enabled device, some 66% of women and 48.4% of men cited ‘general browsing’ as their primary motivation, with a further 21.6% of women and 36% of men searching for products or services

Is there an ad opportunity?

  • Crucially, 45% of those asked said they occasionally purchase a product or service searched for while streaming, with a further 24% doing so regularly and 23% rarely – illustrating the potential goldmine the sector represents to advertisers

  • 9% stated that they never purchased a product or service while watching

  • This explains moves by the likes of Disney+ to introduce an ad-funded subscription tier. Can streaming be an engine of commerce?

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