Netflix popular with young viewers for ‘talkability’ factor, says Ofcom

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Younger audiences are attracted to streaming services like Netflix because its shows provide watercooler moments, a report has said.

TV watchdog Ofcom said there continues to be a role for public service broadcasters (PSBs), which have come under threat with the rise of streaming giants.

But it said “younger audiences are attracted to streaming services… because they easily serve up relevant, personalised content with the talkability factor, supported by strong social media marketing”.

New Broadcasting House
The BBC is most ‘highly valued for specific programmes’, the report said (Ian West/PA)

There was also good news for the likes of the BBC, ITV and Channel 4, with the regulator pointing out even younger audiences are keen to retain public service broadcasting, valuing the sense of “societal glue” they bring, as well as high-quality British content and news.

But viewers feel the traditional broadcasters need to “work harder to provide relevant programming and make it as easy as possible to access across the generations.”

BBC services and Netflix are the most likely to be valued by UK adults, the report said.

The BBC is most “highly valued for specific programmes (which are not mentioned in the report), while Netflix is most valued for variety”, the report on public service broadcasting said.

It said “trusted and accurate news” is by far the most valued aspect of public service broadcasting.

A BBC spokeswoman said: “This research highlights the importance of providing world-class, universally easily-accessible content that includes an impartial and trusted news service, alongside high quality, distinctive UK programming to bring the nations, regions and diverse communities of the UK together.”

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