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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 August, 2004, 10:46 GMT 11:46 UK
Pay-TV outstripping advertising
Children watching TV
The amount of time spent watching TV has increased by 2%
The amount of money people spend on watching television has risen 63% since 1999, as pay-TV becomes more popular.

This has led to a shift in the industry with subscription revenue outstripping that of advertising, according a report by media regulator Ofcom.

Public spending on TV services, including the licence fee, averages 4.36 a week.

Spending on subscription TV services such as Sky rose to 3.3bn in 2003, while advertising revenue drew 3.2bn.

The Communications Market Report 2004 shows that an average of 4% of household spending goes on media and communications services, including mobile phones and broadband. This figure is up from 2.9% in 1999.

More choice

Woman using a laptop

"There are fundamental economic shifts in the landscape with long-term significance," said Ofcom's senior partner of strategy and market developments, Ed Richards.

"For the first time ever, subscription revenue is greater than advertising revenue in the television industry."

For those choosing to pay for subscriptions or for a Freeview box, the choice of channels rises from five terrestrials channels to upwards of 270 with some packages, up from 56 channels five years ago.

With the proposed shutdown of analogue television now set for 2012, the amount raised by subscription television is set to rise even further.

Time and money

With the rise in pay-TV spending comes an increase in the amount of hours spent watching TV, with an increase of 2% from 25.6 hours per household every week to 26.1 hours.

Radio listening has also shot up by 6% from 1999, from 41.2 hours a week to 43.5 hours.

The Communications Market Report also signals a huge increase in the amount of time and money invested by the public in mobile phones and the internet.

The amount of time spent on the internet has gone up from two hours a week in 1999, specifically using dial-up, to 16 hours a week using broadband.

And text messaging on mobile phones has risen from an average of just one per week, to an average of 15 per week.

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