New research by Ofcom shows that British people watch more television on demand than anywhere else in the world.
Live television remains the most popular way of watching TV in the UK despite a large drop of 4.9% in 2013-14, research by Ofcom shows.
As many as 70% (31m) of UK adults will be watching on demand television this month from free-to-air providers such as BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub and All 4. This figure places the UK ahead of all other major European countries, as well as big TV consuming nations Australia, Japan and the USA.
When paid-for subscription services such as Netflix or Amazon Instant Video are included, that figure grows to 81%, compared with 65% in the US and 58% in Germany.
"UK viewers won’t be tied to the TV schedule this Christmas," said James Thickett, Ofcom's Director of Research. “More than anywhere else, we’re watching TV and films at a time that suits us, on a range of devices, in and out of the home.”
The UK is also leading the way in TV tech, with 42% of households having an internet-connected television. This allows seven in 10 of the UK’s connected TV owners to watch free-to-air catch-up TV, and over half (54%) to play subscription services such as Netflix or Amazon Instant Video on their TV. Brits are also the biggest users of handheld devices when it comes to viewing content. The regulator found that 16% of Brits use their tablet to watch shows, compared to 14% in Italy and only 5% in Japan.
However in terms of daily viewing hours, the UK is firmly middle of the pack with Brits watching 3 hours 40 minutes of TV per day. Overall Americans watch the most TV per day (4 hours 22 minutes) while Swedes watch the least (2 hours 33 minutes).