Press Release | 26 Mar 2021

Brits turn to bingeing boxsets throughout lockdown

Vodafone UK records a 40% increase in daytime internet data usage since March 2020.

  • Line of Duty, Friends and Only Fools and Horses among the most re-watched boxsets of the last 12 months.
  • Vodafone reports 40% increase in the amount of streaming and downloading on its network since the first national lockdown began on 23 March 2020.
  • Vodafone’s new Pro Broadband range includes boosters to ensure you get WiFi in every room, as well as Broadband Back-up, so you won’t miss a minute of your favourite TV series.
  • Packages start at £35 a month for average speeds of 35Mbps, ranging up to £60 for 900Mbps.

New research from Vodafone has revealed that Line of Duty, Friends, and Only Fools and Horses are among the most re-watched boxsets of 2020. The top 50 binge-watched TV series during lockdown also included Peaky Blinders, Game of Thrones, and Downton Abbey, according to a study of 2,000 adults.*

Credits: World Productions/Steffan Hill

Credits: World Productions/Steffan Hill
Vicky McClure (left) and Kelly MacDonald star in the latest Line of Duty hit series

Breaking Bad, Killing Eve, and The Crown also proved popular, as 64% of viewers say they have watched more box sets over the last year than ever before.

And while 6:30pm was the peak time to binge-watch boxsets, a quarter of adults admitted they had tuned in to their favourite show before 11am.

The findings are supported by figures from Vodafone which show a huge increase in the amount of streaming and downloading during the pandemic, with re-bingeing boxsets being one of the main drivers.

graph showing effect of lockdown on home broadband usage

Credits: Alexander Viner

During the lockdown, which started on 23 March 2020, there was a 40% increase in daytime use of the internet, driven by schools shutting and adults moving to homeworking. To help cope with the demand, Vodafone recently launched a new broadband product – Pro Broadband – that reaches every room in the house, with a 4G back-up to deliver an uninterrupted service.

Our new Pro Broadband service is designed for the new reality of working, living and playing at home

(Max Taylor, Consumer Director)

Before the pandemic, the first major increase in daily internet traffic would usually occur at 3.30pm when children returned from school. Now, the first major increase in usage starts from 10am. A small dip in network usage occurred at 8pm during the ‘Clap for Carers’ in support of NHS workers.

graph showing effect of Clap for Carers on internet usage

Credits: Alexander Viner

Max Taylor, Consumer Director, Vodafone UK, said: “Our new Pro Broadband service is designed for the new reality of working, living and playing at home – with extenders reaching every corner of the home, and back-up technology to ensure the service never goes down.

“This study shows how we have enjoyed re-watching boxsets and our favourite TV shows, and that some of us are no longer restricting boxset bingeing to evenings – it seems many of us are quite happy to settle down to a couple of hours in front of the TV during the daytime if work allows.

“Never before has it been so important to have an unbreakable connection at home. Our broadband service will automatically switch to 4G if there’s an issue with the fixed line, meaning that you no longer have to worry about your favourite shows being interrupted halfway through.

Jodie Comer in Killing Eve

Credits: BBC

Credits: BBC
Killing Eve stars Jodie Comer as a psychopathic assassin

“This means that TV lovers, gamers, home workers and school children can enjoy their favourite shows, game with their friends, access online learning and participate in video calls without worrying about the connection dropping.

“In addition to that, the need for online entertainment has been at its highest ever – whether that’s tuning into boxsets, Premier League matches, or gaming updates for the likes of the PS5 or Xbox Series X.

Montage of Premier League footballers

Credits: Premier League

“Families now want guaranteed WiFi in every room, and pricing that isn’t eye-wateringly expensive, given the fact many are having to tighten their purse strings to cope with recent events.”

Other shows which have been viewed again during lockdown include Sherlock, Luther and The Walking Dead.

Eight-out-of-10 adults say they absolutely love a good boxset. Six-out-of-10 report that spending hours in front of their favourites has helped them get through the various restrictions of the pandemic – with four episodes in a row being the most they are likely to watch.

And three-out-of-10 polled via OnePoll even admit guiltily to watching their favourite shows during the daytime – when they should have been working.

– Ends –

Notes to editors :

* Poll of 2,000 adults in the UK conducted by OnePoll.

Follow @VodafoneUKNews on Twitter.

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About Vodafone UK

Vodafone UK is a technology communications company that connects people, businesses and devices to help our customers benefit from digital innovation. Our services span mobile, fixed-line connections, home and office broadband, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

We have a strong track record as a tech pioneer, making the UK’s first mobile phone call, sending the first text message, and making the UK’s first live holographic call using 5G in 2018. We were the first to start carrying live 5G traffic from a site in Salford, Greater Manchester and now have 5G in locations across Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain as well as the UK. Meanwhile, our 4G network coverage currently reaches over 99% of the UK population.

Today, Vodafone serves more than 18 million mobile and fixed-line customers in the UK. Vodafone is the largest provider of full fibre in the UK – our superfast broadband services are now available to nearly 12 million homes across the UK.

Sustainability is also at the heart of what we do: as of 1 July 2021, 100% of the grid electricity we use in the UK is certified to be from renewable sources.

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