LONDON: Around three quarters of UK adults have viewed an on-demand or online (ODO) service in the past 12 months, but use is "almost universal" among the youngest age group according to a new study.

For its On-demand and online research: consumption and demand report, Ofcom, the UK regulator, conducted a face-to-face survey among 2,121 adults aged 16+, including 1,453 on-demand and online users.

The study found a strong correlation between usage levels and age. Use was almost universal among 16-24 year olds (96%), whereas only one in three adults aged 65+ (35%) used these services.

Overall, adult use has increased from 71% to 74% over the past year with males, ABC1 socio-economic groups and parents all significantly more likely than other sub-groups to have viewed on-demand and online content.

Ofcom split ODO services into long-form and short-form, with TV catch-up services dominating the former, being viewed by 57% of respondents. Free VOD content from a TV subscription service – such as Virgin Media or Sky Go – was in second place (31%), just ahead of online rentals from streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime (28%).

More than one quarter (27%) had viewed paid content from online stores (eg Google Play, iTunes) while one in five (21%) had seen paid content format from a TV subscription service.

For short-form content, around half watched material posted on social networking sites other than YouTube (51%) while YouTube itself garnered 45% of respondents viewing content from friends, family and other users.

Around one in three had watched video content on the official YouTube channel of a brand or organisation (32%) and a similar proportion had viewed a video on a news website (34%).

TV catch-up services attracted greater numbers of people, but content posted on social networking sites and YouTube were viewed with greater levels of frequency, Ofcom reported.

One in three (30%) ODO users said they watched content posted on social networking sites every day, with six in ten (57%) reporting they did so at least once a week. In comparison, just 10% used a TV catch-up service daily, but 52% did at least once a week.

Data sourced from Ofcom; additional content by Warc staff