How has streaming changed the UK’s TV habits?

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26 Feb 16


How has streaming changed the UK’s TV habits?

Thanks to streaming giants such as Netflix and Amazon, long gone are the traditional days of how we watch television.

The way that we consume television has always been changing. At the beginning, if you missed something on the main three channels then you missed it. Since then, VHS, Sky+ and now on-demand and streaming platforms have helped transform how we watch television.

It’s also been highly covered that BBC Three will be moving to an entirely digital platform later this month, which shows the impact that streaming has on how audiences digest content.

So, in what ways have streaming changed the way in which UK audiences watch television?

We are in charge of our own schedule

Nowadays, we’re not restricted to the specified times in the TV guide to watch our favourite shows each week. Our busy schedules are no longer a problem, and we can settle down whenever it suits us. Most channels will upload shows to their respective streaming system merely minutes after their on-air showing, so you can still catch-up on the same day if you like.

We can watch wherever we are

Thanks to wi-fi and the countless devices we can pair up with our streaming platforms, we can watch programs wherever we are. During our long commute to work, we can now sneak in a viewing of the latest episode of Game of Thrones, so we can discus our thoughts with everyone as soon as we get to the office.

The choices seem endless

We’re no longer confined to what television channels want us to watch. We have the power to decide ourselves and with seemingly endless options, we can almost create our own channel.

Streaming platforms are nowadays choosing to produce original content that is exclusively available for their own customers alongside past shows. The likes of ‘House of Cards’ and ‘Orange is the New Black’ by Netflix, are proving to be massively successful both commercially and critically.

More people are watching than ever

A study by E-Poll Market Research found that 71 per cent said that they were seeking out and watching full-length streaming programs.  This shows just how the vast majority of the audience are choosing streaming over traditional channels to watch the program of their choice.

However, it’s also probable to say that streaming is also helping television at the same time. Once people have caught up with the available episodes on the platform, they may seek out the latest episodes as they air on television.

We don’t have to wait

Remember a time when we had to wait it out each and every week until the big season finale? If Netflix is anything to go by this could become a thing of the past in the not too distant future.

In most cases, an entire season will be made available on streaming from the beginning which allow audiences to be more invested in the show and the characters. We no longer have to rely on a catch up montage to remind us of what happened in the last episode, because we’ve just watched it.

It’s cheaper to stream

Right now, it costs £145.50 a year for a television licence. In comparison, a year of Netflix will cost £84 and a yearly subscription of Amazon Prime (which includes their Instant Video service) will cost £79.

At the moment, it’s likely that most streaming users will also be paying for a TV licence alongside a subscription. However, as times become more digitally-focused, it’s likely that many people may soon start opting out of a TV licence and just going straight to a streaming subscription.

Whilst television is still going strong, these changes do signify that the traditional format needs to keep up with newer ways of consuming television. Both television stations and streaming platforms need to stay on top of the constant changes happening and find inventive and original ways to hold on to their audiences.

By Lauren Mallett at, where you can discover brands, create and share your personalised online high street and earn rewards!