British audiences have outnumbered traditional pay-TV viewers for the first time, new research reveals.

Out of almost a thousand 18-70 year olds who watch at least 5 hours of television per week, more are watching via streaming platforms than traditional pay-TV services, according to research conducted by the National Research Group on behalf of digital media player manufacturer Roku.

Of those surveyed, 9 out of 10 said they watched television via streaming as opposed to 7 out of 10 who said they watched traditional pay-TV platforms such as Virgin Media, Sky and BT.

Even live sport, which was once thought to be immune to the streaming effect, is gaining popularity on the streamers, with 51% of respondents saying they watched live sports that way versus 55% on pay TV.

Nor is streaming the preserve of any one age group: the survey found 77% of 57-70 year olds watch streamers, according to Roku’s “The Streaming Decade” report.

“The findings highlighted in our ‘Streaming Decade’ report show that TV in the U.K. has reached a tipping point, and streaming is becoming the norm for all ages,” said Mirjam Laux, Roku’s VP of international.

“With more and more new and interesting content available to consumers, streaming has become the dominant force for consumers. And where consumers go opportunities follow for brands to engage them with compelling, best-in-class advertising that’s relevant to their interests. Streaming is clearly the future of TV.”

The survey also had some good news for producers: more than half of respondents said they would continue watching the same amount of TV as they did during their pandemic even though the U.K. is slowly going back to normal with the relaxation of restrictions.

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