Online streaming services more popular than ever, ONS report reveals

Donna Miller
August 10, 2018

The proportion of adults who watch films and videos online has surged in the past two years as Netflix and other streaming services change people's viewing habits.

Since 2016, the proportion of adults who watched videos on demand from commercial services is up 17%, from 29% to 46%. Despite this 10 per cent of households still don't have access to the internet, but for the first time ever 100 per cent of households with children had some form of internet access. Nevertheless it's noted that 26% of smartphone users did not have smartphone security and 24% of smartphone users did not even know whether they had security software installed (the proportions are similar across all age groups). The study also indicates that the percentage of households with some kind of internet access has not changed since a year ago, remaining at 90 per cent.

Otherwise the percentage of adults who use the internet daily has grown from 35% in 2006 to 86% in 2018, while over the same period weekly use has declined from 16% to 4% (i.e. we're all making much more regular use of the internet).

In 2018, among all adults, 77 percent had used the internet "on the go" using a mobile phone, smartphone, laptop, tablet or handheld device.

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Nearly 90% of adults used the internet at least weekly in 2018, compared to just 51% in 2006.

"There were some differences in the activities that men and women carried out over the internet, with a higher percentage of women using it for social networking (69%), compared with men (60%)", said the report.

Meanwhile 78 percent of the population bought goods or services online in the last 12 months, up 1 percent since 2017 and 25 percent since 2008, with older adults showing largest increase in online shopping over the past decade.

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