Students going mobile as they leave TV
NEW research from TV Licensing shows students are
increasingly watching mobile devices rather than on a TV. Just 37% say they
watch live TV on a TV set once they've arrived at University, in a survey of new
students carried out by TV Licensing. In contrast, of those who watch live TV,
84% say they watched live on a TV set before moving to Halls of Residence.
A change to the law in September 2016 means students are now more likely to need a
TV Licence to watch on mobile devices. A licence is needed for watching and
recording live television, and since September 2016, watching or downloading BBC
programmes on iPlayer. This applies to laptops, mobiles or any other equipment.
Matthew Thompson, spokesperson for TV Licensing, said:- "Students are
increasingly streaming, downloading, recording, using catch up services and
watching live TV on mobile devices. To help Undergraduates decide if they need a
licence, we encourage them to view advice at:-
before the big move".
34% of those who watch live TV, choose to watch live TV via a laptop as their
main device, up from just 7% before they left for university, indicating a
switch to more portable ways of viewing. 48% of students own a TV but only 23%
of those choose to bring their set to university, a fall from 35% just 2 years
ago. By contrast, 89% bring a smartphone with them, 86% a laptop and 36% a
Research also shows young people are more clued up than their older counterparts
as to when they need a TV Licence. When compared to the general population as a
whole, more students were aware of the iPlayer law change than the general
public when asked in the weeks following the law change.
Currently, 72% of students are aware of the law change and know a licence is
needed to watch catch-up or on-demand TV via BBC iPlayer, using any device.This
may be as a result of parental intervention, as growing numbers of parents are
mentioning the need to have a TV Licence whilst at university. 3 in 5 parents
discuss the TV Licence with their children, indicating parents and guardians are
keen to ensure their offspring stay within the law whilst enjoying TV away from
Generally speaking, students won't be covered by a communal TV Licence or their
More information can be found about TV Licensing
by speaking to an adviser over the phone on:- 0300 790 6113.