Routes to Content addresses the industrial and regulatory challenges faced by the contemporary television industry with the rise of internet-connected and on-demand viewing. We have undertaken three waves of research examining the changing ways in which people discover and watch television, including online video.


Wave 3: Routes to Content After Covid-19

In May 2021 we conducted a survey of just under 1500 UK adults to examine how television viewing habits have changed in the UK since the increased uptake of video-on-demand and streaming services during 2020.

The interim report of our initial findings can be found here: Routes to Content after Covid Report. This report not only examines what channels/services people are watching, but also interrogates their depth of engagement and how they find and discover content. It includes recommendations for policy-makers and broadcasters.

A full report will be published by the end of 2022.


Wave 2: Covid TV

In May 2020, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, we returned to 28 participants from wave 1 to see how Covid-19 had affected their television viewing. You can access our report, exploring how people’s viewing behaviour had changed from summer 2019 to May 2020 here: Covid TV Report.

We found a significant shift in behaviour as on-demand viewing had become more widespread and habitual. Our report examines why this has happened and what the long-term implications might be. It includes recommendations for broadcasters and regulators.

A summary of the report and recommendations for policy makers can be found here: Covid TV Policy Brief


Wave 1: Routes to Content

The report on our initial research project, Routes to Content, conducted in the summer of 2019, can be accessed here: Routes to Content Initial Report.

A summary of the report and recommendations for policy makers can be found here: Routes to Content Initial Policy Brief

The research analysed how people discover and decide what television to watch. Over the summer of 2019 we undertook in-depth semi-structured interviews with 30 participants in their own homes, where they were asked to describe and show us how they found television content to watch.


For more information on this project, or to discuss the research findings, please contact Professor Catherine Johnson

The project is led by Professor Catherine Johnson, within the Centre for Participatory Culture.

The research team includes Professor Cornel SandvossProfessor Matt Hills, Annaliese Grant and Lauren Dempsey. The research team consulted with Ofcom to shape the direction of the original Routes to content research, but the design and analysis of the research was conducted independently at the University of Huddersfield.