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Live TV is still for old people, study shows

The Simpsons

In breaking news hot out of the Things You Already Knew Department, the U.K.’s Office Of Communications has released a study showing that British consumers under the age of 25 do only half of their television viewing in the form of live TV broadcasts. The rest, unsurprisingly, is done via streaming services, mobile phones, web-connected geegaws, and other technological hoozits mature folk barely understand. (The study showed that 69 percent of viewing across all U.K. demographics is still done live, presumably while older viewers sit stock still in their Easter bonnets, waiting for their old-timey photos to be done.)

If that wasn’t enough to make non-millennials in the audience shake their heads—or maybe just look back nostalgically on the news reports that have been saying the same thing over and over again for more than half a decade—the Ofcom report also claims that TV news broadcasts have been among the hardest hit by the transition. Broadcast news ratings among 16-to-34-year-olds have dropped 26 percent since 2008. The youth have apparently been supplementing their meager TV news viewing (39 minutes per week, on average) with various online sources, with many of them declaring the internet the most useful news source available. Large portions of respondents cited Facebook (“All the news on tomorrow’s racist uncles…today!”) and Twitter (“The most nuanced, thoughtful conversation that could fit on a fortune cookie fortune!”) as their primary sources for information about the world.


The study also lauded online news outlets like Vice Media as a major source for younger people interested in world events. The Office Of Communications specifically cited Vice’s coverage of events like the Syria crisis and the war in the Ukraine as areas in which online media has been competitive with more traditional broadcast journalism. That’ll presumably come as some comfort to members of older generations, even as they’re forced to grimace and invite their smartass grandkids over to show them how to get Bowie’s “Oh! You Pretty Things” onto their phone, so they can listen to it while shaking their fists at teens walking past their sacrosanct lawns.

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