- New data reveals pensioners are using 69 per cent more broadband now than they were pre-pandemic*
- Popularity of TV streaming among over 65s is one of the key drivers behind increased usage
- Research reveals The Crown, Bridgerton and Squid Game among most watched series
- 1 in 10 pensioners took up online gaming during the pandemic
- TalkTalk predicts peak broadband data usage will more than double by 2025 as people upgrade their TVs and games consoles for higher quality, data heavy streaming
8th December 2021: The popularity of Netflix dramas such as Squid Game, Bridgerton and Tiger King is driving a significant increase in internet usage among pensioners, according to new broadband usage data released by connectivity provider TalkTalk.
The data, part of TalkTalk’s latest Internet Insights Report, shows that internet usage among over 65s from July to November this year is up by 69 per cent compared to the same period in 2019*. The increase suggests that the pandemic has significantly changed the way older generations now use the internet in their day-to-day lives.
The use of online streaming services, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, are on the rise among over 65s according to new research** from TalkTalk. 41 per cent said they now stream more content than they did before the pandemic, while more than half (54 per cent) said streaming is now among their favourite hobbies.
While the BBC’s police smash hit Line of Duty and period dramas including The Crown and Bridgerton are perhaps expectedly among the most streamed series for the over 65s, South Korean dystopian thriller Squid Game and true crime documentary Tiger King are also among the top 10:
Top 10 most streamed TV programmes by over 65s
- Line of Duty (54%)
- The Crown (47%)
- Peaky Blinders (41%)
- Bridgerton (40%)
- Squid Game (33%)
- The Queen’s Gambit (21%)
- Handmaid’s Tale (20%)
- Tiger King (9%)
- Below Deck (7%)
- Normal People (7%)
Online gaming is also growing in popularity among pensioners, with 1 in 10 (12 per cent) taking it up during the pandemic. Like streaming, it is a data heavy activity – downloading games and uploading data while playing both use significant bandwidth, which has contributed to this large increase of usage among the over 65s.
Minecraft, Fortnite and Call of Duty are the among the most popular games, showing that online gaming is no longer just for the young.
Top 5 most played online video games by over 65s:
- Minecraft (82%)
- Fortnite (78%)
- FIFA (76%)
- Player Unknown’s Battle Ground (67%)
- Call of Duty (64%)
While streaming and gaming have undoubtedly had a major impact on broadband usage among older demographics, other aspects of their lives are also becoming more online-first. A third (32 per cent) are now using online services for personal admin such as banking and utilities while six in ten (61 per cent) are shopping online. 37 per cent say they now lead a more digitally savvy lifestyle than they did pre-pandemic.
Its perhaps not a surprise to learn that two thirds (67 per cent) say that fast, reliable and affordable broadband is crucial to their day to day lives while one in five (20 percent) plan to upgrade their internet to a faster package in 2022.
David Lawrence, a 79-year-old retired Export Manager from Derbyshire, said: “Streaming TV series has become one of my favourite ways to stay entertained in recent years. Being retired I have more time on my hands, so the convenience of being able to watch my favourite shows any time of the day is a big plus. The Queen’s Gambit and The Crown are particular favourites of mine and they became a real talking point with my friends and family over the pandemic. There’s nothing better than sitting down with a nice cup of tea and getting lost in the stories.”
Jonathan Kini, Managing Director of TalkTalk Direct Business and Consumer, said: “Fast broadband is for everyone, not the few. Nothing shows that more by the fact that the over 65s are the fastest rising users over the pandemic. They're streaming, gaming and doing more than ever since the pandemic. The genie is out of the bottle and it isn’t going back. By 2025 we estimate that peak broadband usage will more than double, which is why we’re continually optimising our network and rolling out affordable full fibre.”
To read the full report, see: Internet Insights
* Average broadband usage of TalkTalk consumer customers aged 65+, July-October 2019 vs July-October 2021. Given July to November this year was a period largely free of COVID restrictions, and therefore comparable to the same period in 2019.
**National poll of 1,000 over 65s by Mortar research in December 2021