Turn on, tune in and upload: Britain keeps taking to the tablets

by Jeremy Miles

Just a couple of weeks after it was revealed that 13,000 people in this country still have black and white televisions, new figures have been released showing that record numbers of viewers  are actually ditching the traditional telly altogether in favour of watching programmes on their phones, tablets and laptops.

In fact a third of all viewers now watch the BBC’s iPlayer on demand service on gadgets other than TVs.

That in itself doesn’t sound particularly surprising until you realise that during 2012 a staggering 36.5 billion minutes of television were watched or listened to on iPlayer. No I didn’t believe that figure either but I’m assured it’s correct.

What is without question is that users of the iPlayer  service almost trebled in 2012 and less than half the programme requests were from personal computers.

The most watched items were (predictably) the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, (tragically) Top Gear and (quite right too) Sherlock.

Now, as downloading and streaming become commonplace and with almost 40 per cent of the adult population routinely watching catch-up TV, experts are predicting that within five years the television set will no longer be the prime viewing device in most British homes.

No doubt they’re right but I can’t help feeling that entirely possible that by then we’ll be watching telly on a piece of kit that hasn’t even been invented yet.