'Friends' is still the most streamed TV show in the UK

Chris Edwards
Contributor
The cast of Friends (Credit: NBC)

Broadcasting regulator Ofcom has revealed that Friends is the most streamed show in the UK for the second year running, as Netflix and YouTube become the nation’s third and fourth most popular channels.

Despite ending over 15 years ago, Friends is the most-watched show on a paid-for streaming device, accounting for approximately two percent of the UK’s streams.

The US sitcom was only added to Netflix at the beginning of 2018. And although it will soon be leaving US Netflix for HBO Max, it will remain on UK Netflix for the foreseeable future.

The second most streamed programme in the country is Amazon’s motoring show The Grand Tour, starring Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May.

Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May of The Grand Tour (Credit: Jeff Spicer/WireImage)

It’s followed by Netflix's You, The Good Place and Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Ofcom’s report found that almost half of all UK households are now signed up to at least one streaming device, such Netflix, Amazon or Now TV. That’s an increase of 11.2 million in 2018 to 13.3 million in 2019.

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It also states that the average daily viewing for streaming platforms has risen to 26 minutes, which is seven minutes more than the average last year.

Meanwhile, in 2018, the total number of UK subscriptions rose from 15.6m to 19.1m.

Netflix and SkyGo apps (Credit: Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)

The report said: “The pace of change in television raises questions about how UK viewers will be served in the future.

“Online content delivery and the emergence of global video providers, notably Netflix and YouTube, are driving fundamental shifts in viewing habits and industry structures.

"The internet is massively increasing the choice available to UK viewers.”

Despite these rises, traditional TV, including catch-ups, still accounts for the majority of viewing, averaging three hours and 12 minutes per day.