Ofcom annual Media Nations Report published

Ofcom have published Media Nations 2019,  their annual report - now in its second year - which reviews key trends in TV, video, radio and audio, under the headline ‘UK becomes a nation of streamers.’  The press release and report can be found here.

  • TV and video findings: Ofcom concluded that the pace of change in TV is significant with fundamental shifts in viewing habits. The biggest change has been the emergence of video streaming services and half of UK households subscribe to at least one subscription video on demand service. More people now subscribe to Netflix and Amazon combined (17.4 million) than Sky, Virgin and BT combined (14.3 million). Still 69% of TV viewing is broadcast content with live TV accounting for 56% of viewing. Viewers still value highly the content of traditional TV broadcasters but younger audiences watch more YouTube and Netflix than traditional TV.


  • Radio and audio findings: Ofcom concluded that radio listening and revenues are holding up. The report highlights that live radio, in contrast to TV, remains strong with 89% of UK adults listening every week. The principal challenge highlighted is the fact that young audiences now spend more time listening to online music streaming services than live radio. TouchPoints 2018 shows that for 15-24 year olds live radio  share of audio was 31% compared with music streaming at 41%. This compares with live radio’s share amongst all adults as being 71% and music streaming at 12%

Growth of digital radio and smart speakers:  Ofcom highlights the rise of digital radio to 56.4% of radio listening in Q1 2019, driven by increases in DAB penetration in home (67%) and in car ( 46% ), plus the growth of online listening prompted by the rise of smart speakers. Ofcom estimate that smart speakers are in 20% of homes and that 56% of smart speaker owners use them to listen to live radio, compared with 69% who listen to music streaming and 20% who listen to podcasts on their smart speaker. The smart speaker market continues to be dominated by Amazon with a 78% share compared to 18% Google and 7% Apple.


  • Connected car technology: For the first time Ofcom highlighted the rise of connected technology in cars which showed that while the majority of drivers listen via an AM/FM (68%) or DAB (46%) radio  in car, 29% of cars have the capability to stream music/audio via phone and 23% of cars had an in-built infotainment system.

Growth of commercial radio: Other key themes were the growth of commercial radio, increasing from 31% reach 5 years ago to 40% reach in 2019, and the shift from listening to local services (54% reach) to listening tonational/UK wide services (73% reach).

Rise of podcasts: Ofcom said podcasts were listened to by 1 in 8 adults each week.  They highlight the popularity of YouTube video podcasts and that the most used audio-only source of podcasts is BBC iPlayer Radio, with Spotify and Apple more likely to be used as source of podcast by younger listeners.

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