10 Must Know Facts About Media Consumption in the UK

One of the highlights of the year for us media junkies here at Cream is the release of the Communications Market Report from Ofcom. There's no other report which gives such a comprehensive overview of the UK's media habits.To save you wading through the report's 425 pages, we've picked out all of the most interesting facts for you. Let's start with an update on new technology adoption:1. Household take up of tablet computers has almost doubled in the past year. 44% reported having one of these devices in Q1 2014, up from 24% in the previous year. 14% of homes claimed to have 2 or more.2. Take up of smartphones continues to grow rapidly - up from 51% in 2013 to 61% at the end of Q1 2014. Smartphone take up is well above this average for all age groups 16-54 but falls sharply amongst 55-64s (39%) and 65+s (14%).4. 12% of UK households have a smart TV, up 5 points from 7% the year before. And people aren't buying smart TVs just for the sake of it - 82% are using the internet connection on their TV. This figure is set to continue to grow as smart TVs account for 45% of all TV sales. It's all very well for people to be investing in all this new technology but how confident are they using it? Ofcom covered this subject in this year's report with the creation of the Digital Confidence Score, a system which combines evaluations of confidence, competence and knowledge. Here are their findings:5. Men have a higher Digital Confidence Score (DCS) than women - 35% of men have an above average DCS and 45% an average DCS compared to 22% of women scoring above average and 46% average. Digital confidence declines with age with 43% of 16-34s scoring above average, 22% of 35-54s and just 7% of 55+s. It also declines with socio-demographic group, although not as markedly as you might think. There's little difference in DCS between ABs and C1s, the big drop off is between C1s and C2DEs. 32% of C1s score above average but only 23% of C2s and 22% of DEs. So we know what devices people are using and how competent and confident they are at getting the most out of them, but what are they using them for? Our next 5 facts cover this territory.6. In terms of the most important device for connecting to the internet (at home or elsewhere), the laptop was the most popular response (cited by 4 in 10 of those surveyed) followed by the smartphone (cited by 23%) and tablet (15%). However, when this question was asked to tablet owners, this device was clearly the most popular for accessing the internet (35%) followed by laptops (29%.) For those that had all devices (laptop, desktop, smartphone, tablet) - and this will include many high income households - laptops and tablets were neck and neck (29% and 30%) in terms of the lead device for connecting to the internet.7. 57% of those surveyed have used their mobile phone to access the internet - up from 49% in 2013. Almost all adults who have mobile internet access also have a fixed broadband connection i.e. there's a likelihood that many purchase journeys will cross devices.8. Social media reaches 79% of 25-34s, and accounts for 12% of all their media and communications activity. For 35-44s, the reach is less universal but the proportion of their media and communication activity spent with social media is higher (reach = 68%, 15% of media and communications activity). Reach and time spent then falls for both 45-54s (56% and 11%) and 55-64s (43% and 7%).9. UK adults spent on average 4 hours and 17 minutes per day viewing audio visual content through a variety of media in 2013 - 69% of this time was spent viewing live TV, 16% recorded TV and 10% online content 10% (5% on demand catch up services, 3% streamed services like Amazon Prime or NetFlix, 2% on short video clips) and 5% of this time was spent watching physical media like DVDs or Blu Ray.10. Live TV grows more popular with age and peaks amongst 65+s who spent 85% of their audio visual consumption time watching it. 35-44's spend the most time of all the groups watching on demand TV (7%, compared to only 3% for 55+s), downloaded or streamed TV (e.g. Netflix) viewing time peaks amongst 16-34s (6% of their AV time). How would we sum up this year's findings? Well, many technological stereotypes hold true - older demographics are less likely to adopt and be comfortable with technology, especially 55+s. Despite this technological divide, linear TV still unites all age groups - albeit older viewers watch more than younger viewers.However, the most startling fact for us was the rise and rise of the tablet. It's growth is bound to slow, perhaps this year, but the fact that it's the lead device for connecting to the internet for tablet owners is a telling statistic and one that all marketers (especially those without responsive sites or mobile strategies) need to take note of.

Mobile, Research, TVGraham Painter