When Brits choose TV over the weather

  • People
  • Tuesday, 23 Jan 2024

Some 36% of British adults feel the need to stream something everyone is talking about. Photo: AFP

TV shows can edge their way into our daily lives, becoming a regular topic of discussion among friends and colleagues. According to a survey conducted by the Roku platform, nearly four in 10 adults in Britain prefer to talk about the latest TV shows with colleagues and friends, rather than about the weather (27%), work (24%) or relationships (17%).

With the multitude of streaming platforms, in addition to TV channels, the choice of available shows has continued to grow.

So much so that, according to the results of the survey, the average person has “up to four unwatched TV shows on the go at any one time”. And they don’t stop there: On average, people have at least five shows on their “to watch” list, and add two new shows each month.

Fibbing to fit in

“With hundreds of new films and TV shows released each year, the choice of entertainment can become overwhelming. Paired with the pressure to be a part of cultural conversations we now know people feel, the research shows that an individual has to watch at least two series each month to keep up!” said Sally Nelson, director of UK Product at Roku.

This constant desire to be up-to-date in the world of TV has amplified the fear of “TV FOMO”. This term is used by the Roku platform to describe the fear of not being able to join in conversations about trending television.

Some 36% of adults in Britain say they have felt the need to stream something that everyone else is talking about, just to see what all the fuss is about.

Social pressure has a significant influence on British TV viewing habits. According to a recent study, 11% of Brits are willing to ditch their current show in favour of the latest shows that everyone is talking about. This trend underlines the growing importance of popular series and movies in everyday conversation.

What’s more, 15% of those questioned confessed to having already pretended to watch a specific show in order to fit in with social discussions or to appear in the know. These figures reflect an evolution in media consumption, where the choice of TV shows is becoming a key element of social identity and of relevance in cultural conversations.

Two days a year

Faced with a multitude of content, Brits spend 8.8 minutes a day choosing what to watch, reports the Roku study.

Half of the adults surveyed prefer to scroll through the catalog to make their choice, while only 17% of British adults visit review sites such as IMDB. Despite much discussion among friends and colleagues, only 31% ask for recommendations.

“In today’s fast-paced world, it’s crucial to maximise our leisure time. The last thing people want to do is waste precious moments deciding what to watch. If we reduced this time by half, people would have enough time to enjoy an extra series per year,” says Nelson.

Streaming platforms are well aware of this problem among their subscribers. Netflix has already launched its “Play Something” feature to help the most indecisive viewers to make their choice.

On Roku, the “What to Watch” option has proved particularly useful. Moreover, according to the study, 65% of British viewers take just 20 minutes of watching to decide whether a show is worth continuing with. – AFP Relaxnews

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