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Happy atomised Christmas

News, 06 November 2015

LONDON: Britons will be watching an average of 5.7 hours of television a day over the Christmas period, according to new survey, and a significant proportion won't be arguing over the remote control as more people turn to various connected devices.

The ritual family gathering around the TV set isn't at an end but "digital technology is fundamentally changing TV behaviour and this part of the shared experience", said Mark Middlemas, director of communications at programmatic marketing technology specialist RadiumOne, which carried out the research among 1,000 people aged over 16.

"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," he said. "Instead, we'll see Christmas TV increasingly consumed individually around smaller, more personal screens."

Almost seven in ten (68%) of people said the TV set will be the only device on which they'll watch TV over Christmas.

But 30% will use some form of connected device to watch TV, with laptops (19%) being the most popular, ahead of tablets (11%), desktop computers (10%) and smartphones (9%).

Limiting oneself to the TV set increases with age – from 36% of 16-24 year olds 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.

The research also threw up some striking regional differences, with the North East (78%) set to be most reliant on just their TV set at Christmas – which may also imply a greater sense of festive togetherness – whilst people in London (49%) will be the least reliant.

Multi-screening will be popular, particularly amongst young people: seven in ten (69%) tablet and smartphone owners expect to use these devices whilst watching Christmas TV, rising to 83% and 89%, respectively, among 16-24 year olds.

Data sourced from RadiumOne; additional content by Warc staff