More than half of under-30s considering not paying TV licence fee, says survey

A new online survey has revealed that 55% of TV licence holders aged 30 or under are planning or considering to stop paying their TV licence fee.

The survey by Censuswide on behalf of Pure Telecom found that in total, 43% of Irish TV licence holders are planning to, or considering, ditching their TV licence solely due to an increase in online viewing.

The research found that one-in-10 Irish adults have already stopped paying the TV licence, rising to 17% in the 30 and under age group.

Currently, any household with a TV set is required to pay the €160 licence fee, however the charge does not apply to those who view all their video content via laptops, tablets or smartphones.

The survey, conducted among 1,001 online adults across Ireland in July 2017, also found that the average consumer spends 6 hours 36 minutes watching streamed or online content each week. This trend is even more pronounced with younger audiences, with those aged 30 and under consuming 8 hours 47 minutes of online video per week.

The research found that people living in Donegal are the heaviest consumers of streamed and online content, watching 10 hours 18 minutes each week.

That is followed by those living in Meath (9 hours 13 minutes) and Galway (7 hours 53 minutes).

Those living in Cavan spend the least time on streaming sites, watching only 3 hours 12 minutes per week.

Commenting on the findings, Paul Connell, CEO, Pure Telecom, said: “The quality of content produced for online platforms has been steadily rising to the point where it is now at least on par with – and in many cases it outshines – what is offered on traditional television channels.

“People also now take for granted the convenience of on-demand viewing and the ability to watch content on-the-go. Coupled with very high quality content now available online, it is natural that consumers are questioning the need to continue to pay for a TV licence.”

Earlier in the year, the Department of Communications considered an extension of the TV licence fee, which would apply to owners of computers, laptops and large tablets – a suggestion that has since been scrapped.

The survey found that 62% of Irish adults are opposed to this proposal.

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