LONDON: A new Ofcom report released on Wednesday found that young people in the UK watch almost seven times less TV than people aged over 65.
The UK’s communications regulator said that the “generation gap” in the way media is consumed has reached an all-time high.
Brits aged 16-24 reportedly favor streaming platforms and social media over traditional broadcast TV and spend an average of 53 minutes per day watching TV — a decrease of two-thirds over the past decade.
“The streaming revolution is stretching the TV generation gap, creating a stark divide in the viewing habits of younger and older people,” said Ian Macrae, Ofcom director of market intelligence.
“Traditional broadcasters face tough competition from online streaming platforms, which they’re partly meeting through the popularity of their own on-demand player apps, while broadcast television is still the place to go for big events that bring the nation together, such as the Euros final or the Jubilee celebrations,” he added.
However, the latest market study undertaken by Arabsat in conjunction with Ipsos in 2021 found that TV viewership in the Middle East and North Africa region “boasts a young, vibrant,and diverse community” with 45 percent of viewers aged under 30.
This trend, in stark contrast with the Ofcom report, illustrates “the strong sustainable relevance of satellite TV also amongst younger TV audiences in MENA.”
Ofcom attributed the decline in TV viewership among young people in the UK to the rise in popular streaming services and short-form video platforms.
In its report, the regulator said about one in five UK homes have a subscription to all three of the biggest streaming services: Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video.
The regulator also warned that public sector broadcasters will continue to experience declines in viewership over the coming years.
MENA’s streaming industry has been “rapidly increasing,” according to an independent study by market research firm Dataxis. The region’s streaming platforms saw a 30 percent increase in subscribers between 2020 and 2021, reaching close to 10 million users in 18 countries.
By 2026 subscriptions in the region are expected to triple to close to 30 million.
However, the Arabsat report said: “Satellite TV continues to remain the strongest mode of content distribution in the region, with 93 percent total market share.”