TV statistics

How long are Brits spending in front of the TV?

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More than 28 million homes in the UK have a television with the ability to sit and watch some form of streaming service like Netflix, Sky, Amazon or NOW TV – but just how long are we spending in front of the TV every day? We analysed all the latest statistics to see how glued we are to our screens.

Quick overview

  • 28.5 million homes in the UK have a television.
  • 25.8 million TV licences were issued in 2018/19, just 84,000 fewer than in 2017/18.
  • Of those TV licences, 6,883 were black and white TV licences, 1,359 fewer than in 2017.
  • On average we watch over 22.5 hours of TV every week, not including streaming services such as Netflix.
  • More than 14.3 million homes subscribe to a streaming service such as Netflix, Amazon Prime or NOW TV.

28.5 million

homes in the UK have a television in 2019.

TV ownership in the UK

We all love to keep up to date with our favourite TV shows, but just how many homes in the UK don’t have a TV at all?

TV ownership has been seeing a steady increase year-on-year. In 2019 more than 28.5 million of us have at least 1 TV in our home. Explore the graph below to see how TV ownership has increased over the last seven years.

Year Number of TVs
2019 28.5 million
2018 28.3 million
2017 28 million
2016 27.9 million
2015 27.5 million
2014 27.3 million
2013 27.4 million

Multiple TVs

In a modern household, owning more than one television is not unusual. We now have TVs in our bedrooms, kitchens and even bathrooms! How many households in the UK have more than one TV?

Over 15.3 million households in the UK have more than 1 TV, while just 1.59 million don’t have a TV at all. Take a look at the chart below to see a detailed breakdown of the number of TVs per household.

Number of TVs Amount of homes 2018 Amount of homes 2019
0 TVs 1.37 million 1.59 million
1 TV 11.85 million 11.38 million
2 TVs 8.94 million 8.73 million
3 TVs 4.03 million 3.99 million
4 TVs 1.59 million 1.74 million
5+ TVs 0.8 million 0.87 million

How long are we watching for?

You might have been told that watching too much TV can give you square eyes, but that isn’t stopping some Brits from racking up dozens of hours of viewing time every week. We analysed just how many hours a week we spend watching TV. Bear in mind the figures below are just for television shows and catch-up services, so they don’t include anything watched on streaming services such as Netflix or Amazon Prime.

  • The average Brit watched 22 hours and 36 minutes of TV in the second week of January 2020.
  • That is 13 minutes longer than during 2019.
  • One of the most popular weeks to spend time in front of the TV is during Christmas, when the average Brit spent a whopping 25 hours and 45 minutes in front of the TV.
  • That is 189 minutes longer than in January.

Over 22.5 hours

of television was watched by the average Brit, per week in 2020.

Binge-watching

With the introduction of streaming services and catch-up TV, it is now possible to binge-watch an entire series in one sitting. So just how often are Brits binge-watching their favourite shows? For these results, binge-watching was classified as watching more than one episode in one sitting.

16- to 24-year-olds are the most likely to binge-watch TV shows, with 82% reporting to do it monthly, compared to just 29% of those aged 65+. A whopping 11% of 16- to 24-year-olds reported binge-watching TV every day.

How often All adults 16+ Aged 16–24 Aged 65+
Every day 4% 11% 0%
At least weekly 35% 62% 16%
At least monthly 55% 82% 29%
Never 19% 3% 43%

Streaming services

Streaming services have changed the way we watch TV. Whether you stream through Netflix, Amazon Prime or NOW TV, more than 50% of all households now have at least 1 of the 3 streaming subscriptions. That is 14.3 million UK households, an increase of 16% since 2018. 6% have subscribed to all 3 services and 32% have monthly subscriptions to both Netflix and Amazon Prime.

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  • Over 50% of homes in the UK now have access to one of Amazon, Netflix or NOW TV streaming services.
  • More than 14.3 million homes in the UK have at least 1 streaming subscription in Q4 2019.
  • This is up 16% (or 2 million), from 2018.
  • Netflix is the UK’s most popular streaming service, with 12.4 million subscribers, 20% more than the year before.
  • Amazon Prime is the second biggest streaming service with 7.1 million subscribers, 35% more than 2018.
  • 6 million homes have signed up to two or more streaming services.

32%

of all homes that have subscribed to streaming services subscribe to both Amazon and Netflix.

The UK’s most popular streaming services

Netflix is by far the most popular streaming service in the UK, with more than 12.4 million subscribers at the end of 2019, an 8% increase since 2018. Meanwhile Amazon Prime and NOW TV have experienced healthy growth over the year too.

Streaming service Q1 2018 Q1 2019 Q4 2019
Netflix 9.11 million 11.47 million 12.4 million
Amazon 4.83 million 5.96 million 7.1 million
NOW TV 1.46 million 1.62 million 2 million

How much are we spending?

With so many different streaming services out there, it’s easy to end up with multiple subscriptions. So just how much are Brits spending on streaming services?

You can see more statistics on our TV streaming habits on this page.

What are we watching?

Which shows are capturing the imaginations of Brits? We dived into the latest statistics to see which programmes we are watching and which ones we aren’t.

  • 1: Gavin and Stacey (25 December 2019) was the most viewed programme of 2019, with over 17.92 million viewers.
  • 2: I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! (17 November 2019) came second, with 13.18 million viewers.
  • 3: Strictly Come Dancing: The Final (14 December 2019) had 12.76 million viewers when it was aired and was the third most watched TV programme in 2019.

Sources used

Click here for more research. For all media enquiries, please contact:

Matt Mckenna
UK communications manager
T: +44 20 8191 8806
matt.mckenna@finder.com@MichHutchison/in/matthewmckenna2

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