New research by Ofcom indicates that time spent watching TV is declining, especially among young people, but public service broadcasting still remains satisfying for most.

According to Ofcom’s Public Service Broadcasting Annual Report 2016, overall TV viewings on TV sets have decreased since 2010. TV viewers in the UK now watch 26 minutes less per day than they did in 2010.

Most importantly though, the report points out to a wide generation gap. People under 25 are watching almost 25% less broadcast TV, but people aged 55-64 are watching just around 5% less TV.

Similar results were found in a Nielsen research conducted in the US, people aged 65 and older spend an average of 51.5 hours a week watching live and timeshifted TV. By contrast, people aged 18-24 spend around 16 hours. Nonetheless, TV in the US still remains the preferred media service.

One of the reasons is the increased popularity of on-demand services such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon and All 4 which are used mostly among the 15-24s and 25-35s, as well as the digitisation of news that is now accessible from a plurality of sources.

On the other hand, public service broadcasters still reaches 84% of the TV audience and accounts for 51% of all broadcast TV viewing in 2015. Whilst this is a decline compared to 10 years ago, when PSB accounted for 70% of the sharing, the satisfaction remains high. Around 73% of viewers said they were satisfied with PSB services overall, while 7% said they were dissatisfied.

“Our research shows that UK audiences still watch and value public service broadcasting,” said Jane Rumble, the director of market intelligence at Ofcom.

The research suggests a growing trend towards different news sources, but traditional media can transform and follow.  “As media and technology continue to evolve, it is important that broadcasters respond to these changes, so they can keep meeting the needs and expectations of viewers,” Rumble added.

Digitisation can thus be a unique opportunity for public service broadcasting to grow and reach a wider –  and younger – audience.