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UK leads in on demand viewing

Channel four, All 4, On demand, catch up,

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.

Penguin Random House announces move into children’s TV

Penguin Random House are moving into children's TV (Photo Credit: Michael Beirut/Pentagram)

Publisher Penguin Random House has recently announced the promotion of executive Richard Haines to Head of Acquisitions and TV Development. 

Haines' promotion earlier this week marked a shift in the publisher’s approach to the children’s entertainment market.

Richard Haines previously worked on the successful children’s TV show Puffin Rock which was the publisher’s first venture into television. It was broadcast across the world, in Europe, Australia and on Netflix in multiple territories including Japan and the US.

This week's best on demand TV

Graham Norton and Adele (Credit: BBC)

1. Adele at the BBC

Available on BBC iPlayer

The world's been waiting three years for 25, the follow-up to Adele's phenomenally successful 21 - and the day is finally here. To mark the release of her album - which will no doubt shoot to the top of the charts and dominate the airwaves for the next several months - she performs a special concert at the BBC, interspersed with excerpts from an interview with Graham Norton, peppered with her trademark wit throughout.

TV comedy experts examine the challenges facing the genre

Nerys Evans, Simon Lupton, Gregor Sharp, Jessica Knappett and Boyd Hilton

The classic sitcom no longer rules the TV schedules in the way that shows such as Fawlty Towers, Open All Hours and Porridge did in the 1970s. Or does it?

A panel of TV practitioners attempted to tease out the answer last month at an RTS early-­evening event, “No laughing matter: how does comedy fight back?” This stimulating debate made one think that we could be living through another golden age of TV comedy without necessarily knowing it.

Netflix plans move into news

Netflix

Netflix could be expanding into current affairs, the company’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos has said.

Until now, the on-demand service has focused mainly on film and television content with a long shelf life.

However, speaking in Netflix’s Q3 2015 earnings interview, Sarandos said the company could be following its competitor HBO into producing more timely content.

In 2013, HBO teamed up with co-founder and CEO of Vice Shane Smith to produce documentary series Vice for the US cable network. The show’s fourth season is due to air next year.

BBC to launch iPlayer for children

The BBC is to launch a children’s iPlayer app which will be available for kids on Apple and Android devices.

The new service, with the working title "iPlay," will be an on-demand partner to CBBC and CBeebies.

There were over 500 million downloads of children’s content on iPlayer from January to June 2015, the BBC revealed, while 75% of children have access to a tablet.

The new app will give children a personalised menu of their favourite programmes including Blue Peter and Bing.  

Amazon Prime is the first to offer offline downloads

The online provider is the first subscription service to offer these video downloads to Android and iOS devices.

In a statement Amazon announced that: ‘unlike other subscription streaming services such as Netflix, Prime members can enjoy movies and TV shows as part of their membership even when they don’t have an internet connection available.’

This is available for members in the US, UK, Germany and Austria.