Surprise, surprise: Young people prefer on-demand TV

Ofcom’s latest TV report has unveiled some shocking news that nobody saw coming: the majority of young people prefer on-demand TV, such as iPlayer and Netflix, over traditional linear viewing.

The participants aged 16-24 in the report said they like the flexibility of OD telly, and since they're also the age group who watches TV on the most devices, it makes sense that they prefer a platform they can watch from anything.

They still switch back to the traditional TV set, however - mostly for 'event TV'. Think sports, entertainment, Eurovision, and certain dramas that they want to watch as it unfolds. Being a part of the conversation around a show - and avoiding spoilers - are important here.

Linear TV is also more likely to be 'passive', which basically means viewers just stick something on in the background, or watch whatever the rest of the household has put on. On-demand, however, tends to be more of an active choice.

As for other age ranges, people aged 25-54 show the greatest variety in how they watch TV. There's a god mix of linear and on-demand viewing, and they're more likely to record shows with a DVR (such as TiVo or YouView+) than any other age group.

Meanwhile, older viewers aged 55+ had a stronger preference for linear telly, though there are increasingly more people in this age group who watch shows on-demand.

So why the rise in on-demand TV across all ages? Ofcom puts it down to lifestyle - using catch-up and DVR becomes a necessity if you're busy with lots of work, family, or household commitments. A lot of respondents also took the chance to mouth off about how annoying they find the adverts on linear TV.

To read the full report, visit Ofcom's website.

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