Media habits shift in UK

26 April 2012

LONDON: Britons are spending more and more time communicating online and multi-screening, figures from new IPA research indicate.

The trade body has released its fourth TouchPoints Hub Survey, which is produced with Ipsos MediaCT and based on the poll responses and electronic media diaries of 5,567 people aged 15 years old or above.

It reported that the typical British consumer now watches TV for three hours 30 minutes per day, compared with one hour 54 minutes spent listening to the radio and one hour 33 minutes using the web.

Moreover, some 79% of respondents regularly utilise two or more media channels simultaneously in the same 30 minutes, an increase from 76% in 2010.

When discussing how people communicate, 66% of this activity takes place face-to-face at present, down by four percentage points on 2010. Landline and mobile phones logged 14% here, up from 10%.

Email was responsible for another 6% of interaction, ahead of social networking on 5%, matching the score for text and picture messaging. Instant messaging posted 1%, as did writing a letter.

More broadly, 44% of consumers accessed social networks at least once a week, measured against 37% in 2010. This audience dedicated six hours 39 minutes to these platforms across a normal seven days in the latest study.

Email penetration stood at 67% on this metric, bettering 60% for talking on a mobile phone and 47% for sending text or picture messages.

TV retained a weekly reach of 98%, but linear broadcast content has seen volume viewing levels fall by 4% since 2010. Radio listenership has also dropped by 2% and print readership by 10%.

Some 29% of individuals watched TV shows and video online each week, doing so for 18 minutes a day. A further 9% streamed material through a mobile phone, declining to 2% for tablets.

Elsewhere, 80% of adults used the net once a week, with 77% going online via a PC or laptop. Another 39% engaged in this pastime on a mobile phone, as do 5% using a tablet.

Lynne Robinson, the IPA's research director, said: "The ways in which people live and consume media are changing due to the recession and the development of new technologies giving consumers more media channel choices and the ability to control when and how they consume media."

Data sourced from IPA; additional content by Warc staff