TV licence advice for every device this Christmas
This year, smartphones overtook laptops as the most popular way of accessing the internet1 and with Christmas fast approaching, smartphones, tablets and laptops will continue to drive sales through December and well into the January sale period.
It’s important retailers stay abreast of TV Licensing rules about new technology, and the good news for customers is that their TV Licence will cover them to watch live TV on a phone – or a laptop or tablet – as well as any TV set in the home. A licence also covers them to watch on a mobile device when they are out and about, as long as the phone is not plugged in.2
The rules for watching TV online are the same as watching TV any other way. It doesn’t matter what device you are using – if you are watching programmes at the same time as they are being shown on TV, or live on an online TV service, you need a TV Licence. But TV Licensing research has shown3 more than 31 percent of people across the UK mistakenly believe a TV Licence is not needed to watch live TV on a smartphone.
As 33 per cent of UK adults4 now see their smartphone as their most important
internet device – using it for an average of two hours a day to browse websites, use social media, and watch TV – it’s more important than ever customers understand the rules around TV Licensing.
Jason Hill, TV Licensing spokesperson, said: “We know people’s viewing habits have changed and we’re now watching TV on a range of devices. As smartphone use continues to rise, a greater number of people than ever before now have the capability to watch live TV on their mobile phone.
“Fortunately, a home licence covers everyone in the household to watch TV on their phone or tablet but it’s important all viewers are clear on when a TV licence is required.
“If your customers plan to watch or record live television, then they need a TV licence, regardless of what device they are using. A TV licence will cover them to watch live on any mobile device including a laptop, tablet or smart phone. Anyone found watching live TV without a licence risks prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.”
For more information about when a licence is needed, visit tvlicensing.co.uk/info
1 Ofcom Market communications report – August 2015: http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/market-data-
2If you’re watching or recording live TV using a mobile device powered solely by its own internal batteries – like a smartphone, tablet or laptop – you will be covered by your home’s TV Licence, wherever you’re using it in the UK and Channel Islands. However, if you plug your device into the mains and use it to watch or record live TV away from home, you need to be covered by a separate TV Licence at that address (unless you’re in a vehicle or vessel like a train, car or boat). This is a legal regulation governing TV Licensing.http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/check-if-you-need-one/topics/technology–devices-and-online-top8
3 Research was conducted by Harris Interactive among 2,600 adults across the UK in April to June 2015 Base:
All adults aged 16+ who use a mobile phone- 1465 in 2013, 1670 in 2014.)
4 Ofcom Market communications report – August 2015: http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/market-data-