Moneywise users prefer set-top box subscriptions and free-to-air TV channels to online subscription services, our latest poll results reveal.
In light of news from telecoms regulator Ofcom that online streaming services, such as Amazon Prime and Netflix, have overtaken traditional forms of viewing for the first time, Moneywise conducted a poll to find out how our readers watch television.
The findings show that over a third (37%) use subscriptions to paid-for set-top box services, such as BT, Sky TV, and Virgin Media.
However, a narrow majority - at 38% - opt for the more money-saving choice of free to air Freeview channels. With digital aerials now ubiquitous and most modern television sets including Freeview channels, the only cost associated with this form of viewing is the TV licence. Currently, the TV licence costs £150.50 annually for households that watch or record live television channels and/or use BBC iPlayer services on any device. However, if you’re aged 75 or over, the TV licence is free.
In comparison to Ofcom’s findings, a much smaller proportion of Moneywise readers use online streaming services, with just 9% watching online licence-fee based services, such as BBC iPlayer and ITV, and just 6% using paid-for online subscriptions, such as Amazon Prime, Netflix or NOW TV.
Worryingly one reader comments: “I object to the BBC licence fee, but cannot afford other subscriptions because of it.” A typical annual Netflix subscription costs between £60 and £120 depending on the package chosen. Meanwhile, an Amazon Prime subscription costs £80 a year and includes next-day delivery and access to special online offers from the retailer.
If you never watch live television or don’t use services such as BBC iPlayer, you don’t need to pay the licence fee. Streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime are therefore a potentially big money-saver. And with these services growing and adding new content all the time, they could be a great option for savvy households who want to watch programs and movies affordably. Although another cheeky reader says: “I just watch through the neighbour’s window!”
See the poll results below for a full breakdown of how Moneywise readers watch TV.