Christmas is just around the corner, and many of us will spend a lot of the holidays watching TV. In fact, Christmas TV viewing across devices is estimated to reach almost 300 million hours a day over the festive season, with almost half of the population spending more time online over Christmas than during rest of the year.
As the countdown to Bond films and seasonal specials begins, Britons are gearing up to watch a total of 296 million hours* of TV per day over the Christmas period across various devices.
According to new research from programmatic technology experts RadiumOne, 30% of Britons over 16 will use some form of connected device to watch TV; laptops (19%) being the most popular ahead of tablets (11%), desktop computers (10%) and smartphones (9%).
Less than seven in 10 (68%) people say the TV set will be the only device on which they’ll watch TV over Christmas.
Limiting oneself to the TV set increases with age – from 36% of 16-24s to 88% of people over 65. Conversely, reliance on the TV set only decreases with income, from 75% of people earning less than £20,000 to 51% of those on at least £60,000.
Regionally, the North East (78%) will be the most reliant on just their TV set, whilst people in London (49%) will be the least reliant.
Multi-tasking will be popular, particularly amongst young people: seven in 10 (69%) tablet and smartphone owners expect to use these devices whilst watching Christmas TV, rising to 83% and 89%, respectively, of 16-24 year olds.
TV screens viewing figures
Britons over 16 will watch an average of 5.7 hours of TV a day this Christmas across various screens, with a square-eyed one in five (21%) planning to spend over ten hours a day watching TV programmes.
Men (6.0 hours) will average more than women (5.3). TV viewing decreases with age – from 5.9 hours for 16-34s to 5.4 hours for people over 55. Regionally, people in the South-West will average the most (6.3), those in the East Midlands the least (5.1)
Over two thirds (67%) of us plan to watch more TV over the Christmas period than we do at other times of the year, with 25-34 year olds (82%) and those living in Wales (81%) and the North East (77%) the most likely to increase their usual viewing habits. Upping TV viewing increases with income, from 59% of people earning under £20,000 to 80% of those on at least £60,000.
Online time rises due to Christmas
Nearly half (48%) of us will spend more time online over Christmas than we do the rest of the year. People aged 25-34 (67%) and those living in London (60%) are the most likely to up their internet use over Christmas.
“Gathering in front of the TV set is as much a part of the shared Christmas experience as the turkey dinner, presents and the tree,” says Mark Middlemas, RadiumOne’s Director of Communications. “However, digital technology is fundamentally changing TV behaviour and this part of the shared experience. Connected devices will play a major part in the huge amount of TV to be watched but will result in less of it happening as a group crowded round the TV set. Instead, we’ll see Christmas TV increasingly consumed individually around smaller, more personal screens.”
*Based on Office of National Statistics Population Estimates for UK, England, Wales and Scotland Mid-2014. Average daily TV viewing over Xmas = 5.656 hours x 52.323m people over 16+ = 295.9 million hours.