Brits spend third of 2020 watching TV & streaming services


UK adults sought solace in screens and streaming in 2020, spending a third of their waking hours watching TV and online video content. That’s according to Media Nations 2021 – Ofcom’s annual study of the nation’s media habits, published today.

With people across the UK under some form of lockdown restrictions for most of last year, more than 2,000 hours of it were spent watching TV and online video content.

The change was mainly driven by people spending almost twice as much time watching subscription streaming services (one hour and 5 minutes per day) such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney.

UK subscriptions to streaming services climbed by over 50% last year to reach 31 million, up from 20 million in 2019. This meant that, by September 2020, three in every five UK homes (60%) were signed up, compared to 49% a year earlier.

More than half of UK households (52%) have taken out a Netflix subscription – meaning its customer base exceeds that of pay-TV providers combined for the very first time (48%).

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