Covid-19's Effect on UK TV Viewing Habits

Covid-19’s Effect on UK TV Viewing Habits

The Public Media Alliance and Huddersfield University published information in late November 2020 which suggests that, along with almost everything in life, our TV viewing habits in the UK have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. As we have spent more time at home than ever before and socialising has become a luxury, we’ve been using a range of platforms for entertainment to fill hours that would have been spent in the workplace or out there, in the real world.

What has become clear as 2020 has marched on is that our normal TV viewing habits have altered, even since the research they carried out in spring 2020. It may not surprise you to learn that during the first lengthy lockdown TV viewing figures surged across the TV channels with news and current affairs being in high demand. Similarly, streaming and video subscription services through smart TV’s from Amazon Fire to Android and Roku experienced a sharp increase in uptake. As viewers could choose what they watched, custom TV experiences were created via content that could make people forget the drama in 2020’s real world. A Harry Potter film afternoon or a classic Only Fools or Friends box set would not have any Covid related content and this was hugely attractive. It still is. Streaming services did not suffer a drop in the same way that TV viewing did after the first lockdown ended.

That said, the staple TV programmes did prove to be anchors and friends to viewers as they sought relief from the stream of incessant bad news. You could say that never before have Phillip Schofield, Lorraine Kelly, and even Piers Morgan been so welcome in our homes. Why? According to the report, although TV was deemed a distraction and a form of escapism, during 2020 the TV and its regular hosts have offered a sense of stability, a safe way to diminish anxiety and loneliness. As Victoria Derbyshire or Jeremy Vine appeared each weekday morning this somehow told our brains that we could pretend that the world was still “normal.” People in isolation for weeks and months felt an increased level of companionship with the people on their TV’s in the absence of interaction on the other side of the front door. However, for many people, this was a temporary alliance.

When back at work, the public has decided to continue with “safe” content but has shifted away from mainstream TV for entertainment except for the must see I’m a Celebrity, Strictly Come Dancing, Great British Bake Off and the soaps. The Thinkbox and BARB viewing figures for 9th -15th November 2020 showed that the three top shows were these entertainment programmes but TV news was at numbers 7, 13, 14, 15, 18  and 22 in the top 25. We want to know the facts from our trusted source (all of the news programmes in the top 25 were for BBC news broadcasts) and then escape. We want entertainment that reassures us and allows us to be us, without face masks, hand sanitiser and social distancing.

Providers including Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime are so popular because they offer customised content, although you may have to pay for the privilege. The PMA and university research had shown that in summer 2019 people surveyed sought unique quality content primarily on BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and 5. By summer 2020 consumers were frustrated by the amount of repeats shown on these same channels.

We are still living restricted lives after the 2nd national lockdown but our in home entertainment potential hasn’t been hampered. Our budgets may be tightening though, so why not consider a shift from paid services and apps to a known service provider like Freeview which offers streaming and downloadable content on a subscription free basis?

Android TV is Google’s smart TV platform and it can be operated via voice command. Android technology powered TV’s with tools installed including Google Assistant, Google Chromecast and Google Play Store ensure that operations are as familiar and simple as on your phone or tablet. Searching and downloading content is convenient from the sofa; 500000 shows are available on Google Assistant and Play Store has over 5000 apps.

Moreover, with provider Humax Direct launching their unique Humax Aura UHD Freeview Play 4K Recorder which has Freeview Play pre-installed, a 2 terabyte memory, capabilities to view across devices and on the go via an app, our viewing experience is looking much different going into 2021 than in the before Covid days.

Article written by admin

By Profession, he is an SEO Expert. From heart, he is a Fitness Freak. He writes on Health and Fitness at MyBeautyGym. He also likes to write about latest trends on various Categories at TrendsBuzzer. Follow Trendsbuzzer on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.