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Superfast broadband has turned us into a bunch of box-set binging couch potatoes

OFCOM HAS revealed that Brits have become a nation of binge-watching box-set addicts.

New research from the telecoms regulator shows that more than half of British adults watch more than one episode of the same show back-to-back at least once a month.

Almost 10 million admit they’ve fallen into the “one more episode” trap that has left them tired at work the next day or neglecting household chores.

The study into what it calls ‘Box Set Britain’ shows that 82 per cent of millenials watch multiple episodes at least once a month. Two-thirds are using online viewing to dodge the ads. Over half (54 per cent) watch on tablets or smartphones.

Reassuringly for the old guard, 91 per cent watch live TV, but the amount of time we spend watching live has dropped 14 perc ent since 2010.

Netflix dominates the chart for most streamed shows in the last quarter of 2016, with Orange Is The New Black, Marvel’s Luke Cage, Narcos, Breaking Bad, Stranger Things, The Crown, and American Horror Story the top rated shows.

The highest rated Amazon Prime video show was Clarkson wankfest The Grand Tour at number three, with The Man In The High Castle and Lucifer languishing at eight and nine, respectively.

But as the number of online first shows grows (and yes, Breaking Bad counts because it premiered on Netflix first in the UK for most of its run), the production values improve and awards panels start to take notice, the power of these online shows increases.

Our millenials are certainly binging heavily – one in 10 say they box-set once a day, with nearly half saying they’ve had to cut back on their habit. But kids are actually watching less linear TV – down to one hour 54 minutes a day, that’s 41 minutes less than 2006.

Meanwhile, the older age bracket, those over 64, watched an average of five hours 55 minutes, up 50 minutes from 2006. Probably because they put on ITV3 for Taggart and lost the remote in 2009.

The most popular streaming services amongst adults, however, are more familiar. BBC iPlayer is used by 63 perc ent of adults, then ITV Hub (what on earth do people watch on there?) at 40 per cent. YouTube sits at 38 per cent and Netflix at 31 per cent. µ

The news comes as Amazon Prime Video announces it is to be the new home of the ATP world Tennis tour. It’s not clear if these will be ‘pop-up’ live streams or one of the Amazon Channels portfolio. Either way, it’s a major coup to get a major sporting event away from the linear TV market. µ



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