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On-demand and streaming TV up by third at early stage of lockdown, says Virgin Media

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On-demand programming and streaming TV consumption increased by almost a third during lockdown, according to Virgin Media.

People spent 29% more time watching content on video streaming apps through the company’s set-top box in early lockdown, compared with pre-lockdown, as the country was ordered to stay home to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Netflix usage time shot up by 32%, while YouTube was accessed by 16% more users.

Traditional TV viewing also spiked, with news channels experiencing the largest increase in viewership – at 25 minutes a day at the beginning of lockdown – and a similar effect on music, radio and children’s channels.

The Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal saw a 47% rise in viewing numbers compared with respective matches in 2019 and 2018.

Scotland watched more linear TV channels than any other region in the UK, clocking in 46 additional minutes per day, followed by Northern Ireland at 44 minutes, and London and the North East at 42 minutes.

“Lockdown has certainly seen a leap in TV viewing across the nation,” said David Bouchier, chief digital entertainment officer for Virgin Media.

“Whether tuning in to the latest news or catching up on favourite movie or TV series, our customers have been glued to their television sets throughout lockdown to stay informed and entertained.”