Watching live or on-demand television online is a "rapidly growing" habit among younger people that will force traditional media channels to embrace web-based content and ads, an expert has claimed.

James Kennedy, a research executive with YouGov’s media consulting team, made his comments after a new study by the group found that 55 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds currently watch TV over the internet at least once a week.

Overall, among those who view shows online, more than half (54 per cent) said that they are watching more than they did a year ago.

Some 36 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds and 30 per cent of 25 to 34-year-olds said that they expect they will increase their consumption of web-based TV in the future.

Mr Kennedy said that this could lead to the wider adoption of online content and internet marketing services among traditional media channels like broadcasters and newspapers.

"If people are increasingly choosing to consume media online rather than by physical copy, newspapers need to move with this so as not to lose their share of readership and advertising revenue," he said.

Research carried out in the US by BrightRoll recently found that 56 per cent of online marketers rate online video as the most effective advertising channel.

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