Is This the End of Traditional Television?

The image of TV dinners has been part of British family life for decades. Whether it’s sitting down to watch a soap or Saturday night game show, television is a part of our identities as fish and chips and Sunday roast. But TV is changing.

With the rise of online streaming and viewers lacking patience with long ad breaks, British viewers are consuming shows in a new way and this is having an impact on the economy.

Intrigued by these changes, Money Guru have investigated the way the UK is watching TV and the impact this is having on the advertising industry. This revealed that 1 in 5 people have never watched live TV.

Young People

It’s no secret that young people love social media and getting their news online. Just 5% of 18-24 year olds in the UK buy a printed newspaper, with 31% accessing their news online.

This change is important because it means that young people are more interested in accessing news and entertainment on the go.

It’s also interesting to note that the younger generation is watching far less TV. Those in the 65+ age group watch up to 50 hours a week, while those in the 12-17 and 18-24 age group are watching less TV each year, with some watching just a few hours a week.


This change in the way we consume television has had its biggest impact on the advertising industry. As viewers pre-record shows or stream online to avoid advertising, less money is being spent on television ads – despite the craze for Christmas advertising as these are often viewed online and become YouTube sensations.

2017 was the first year which saw more money being spent on digital advertising, rather than television ads. $209 billion was spent on digital advertising in 2017, making up 54% of the market.

Learn more about the changes to the way we are consuming television and how this is shaping the digital economy.

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