Survey shows more than half of young people plan on ditching TV licence

Image: Netflix

31 July 2017

An online survey has revealed that 55% of Irish TV licence holders under 30 are planning to stop payment of their TV licence due to the popularity streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime.

The research, carried out by Censuswide on behalf of Pure Telecom, surveyed 1,001 adults in July 2017.

Any household with a TV set is required to pay the €160 licence fee, however, the charge does not extend to PCs or mobile devices where catch-up services like RTE Player deliver the same content as their broadcast counterparts.

In total, 43% of Irish TV licence holders said they plan to, or would, ditching their TV licence solely due to an increase in online viewing. The research found that 10% of Irish adults have already stopped paying the TV licence, rising to 17% in the 30-and-under cohort.

In terms of time spent away from broadcasters, the average consumer was said to spend 6 hours 36 minutes watching streamed or online content each week. This trend is even more pronounced with younger audiences, with under 30s watching 8 hours 47 minutes per week.

People living in Donegal are the heaviest consumers of streamed and online content, watching 10 hours 18 minutes each week. That is followed by those living in Meath (9 hours 13 minutes) and Galway (7 hours 53 minutes).

Those living in Cavan spend the least time on streaming sites, watching only 3 hours 12 minutes per week.

Paul Connell, CEO, Pure Telecom, said: “The quality of content produced for online platforms has been steadily rising to the point where it is now at least on par with – and in many cases it outshines – what is offered on traditional television channels.

“People also now take for granted the convenience of on-demand viewing and the ability to watch content on-the-go. Coupled with very high quality content now available online, it is natural that consumers are questioning the need to continue to pay for a TV licence.”

Earlier in the year the Dept of Communications considered an extension of the TV licence fee, which would apply to owners of computers, laptops and large tablets – a suggestion that has since been scrapped. The survey highlighted that there is little appetite for the charge amongst Irish adults, with 62% opposed to its introduction.

TechCentral Reporters

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