The following report summarises the growing gap between generations watching PSB television. Adults aged 34 and under viewing habits are decline, especially those aged between 16 and 24 with the highest rate of decline suspected to be due to video on demand services. Whereas Adults 55 and over are seeing a steep increase to television viewing.
According to Ofcoms annual 2015 report in 2015, 84% of the TV population watched any of the 5 main PSB channels in a typical week. This statistic increases to 86% when including the portfolio channels. Overall, when all the channels broadcast by PSBs are taken into account, they represent 71% of total TV viewing, down from 77% in 2005.
The decreasing trend in viewership of PSB channels from the 16-34 age group over the past 5 years has created a significant gap between the two generations viewing habits of PSB television.
With 16-24 year olds having half the average minutes per day vs. adults aged 45-54 the divide between the age groups is showing the difference of how the two generations consume televised media.
Furthermore the weekly reach represents the proportion of the TV population that watched PSB channel [or channels] at least once in a week.
The 16-24 age group also had the lowest overall percentage points, so how does this age group watch their media?
Statistics collected supplied by Ofcom show the Video on Demand service to be drawing the younger crowd away from PSB television, with services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Now TV, 7 in 10 adults 16-34 use an on demand service. A third of all viewing among 16-24 is spent on on demand services.
With the current decline of young visitors to PSB channels, companies looking to attract the younger demographic may begin to look towards alternative outlets to advertise their products.
Especially due to the fact approximately 40% of 16-34 year olds have subscription on demand services within their household.
PSB channels need to find a way to reconnect with the young adult viewers or to try a new approach to entice them back to linear television. The suspected largest cause of the decline within this age group is suspected to be Video on Demand services.
BBC’s youth division ‘BBC three’ has become an online only source. Programmes and other content such as short animations, short films are now available on the channels website and BBC iPlayer. The BBC Trust said ‘there is clear public value in moving BBC three online, as independent evidence shows younger audiences are watching more online and watching less linear TV’ BBC threes target audience still remains as 16-24 years old. This shows the BBC’s decision to follow a (for lack of a better term) ‘If you can’t beat them join them’ initiative.