UK leads Europe in online usage

18 February 2013

LONDON: The average British internet user spends 37 hours a month on the web and is increasingly likely to go online on mobile devices, a new study has found.

In its 2013 UK Digital Future in Focus report, comScore, the measurement and insights company, identified prevailing trends in web usage, online video, mobile and search, and found that time spent online in the UK was the highest in Europe.

Due to rising smartphone ownership - 64% of British mobile users own a device and 82% of new phones acquired in the UK in December 2012 were smartphones - almost a third of page views were found to come from non-PC devices.

"We've been preparing for a future scenario where most people will consume content on the go and PCs would no longer be the centre of the digital universe," said Mike Read, SVP and Managing Director for comScore in the UK.

"This future is quickly becoming a reality with smartphones now in the hands of two out of every three UK mobile phone owners, and devices such as smartphone and tablets now driving nearly a third of internet usage."

The speed of this development is evident in another statistic from the report, showing that while the UK online video audience grew 8% in 2012, the mobile video audience grew at a far quicker annual pace of 262%.

Advertisers have followed consumers, with 16% more display ads published online in December 2012 compared to a year earlier.

In total, some 923 billion display ad impressions were delivered across the web in 2012. ComScore noted how this increases the importance of validation and measuring viewable impressions.

Separately, the newly-released Digital Publishers Revenue Index from the UK Association of Online Publishers showed that amongst its members digital advertising revenues grew 12% in the final quarter of 2012, with classified, display and online video all performing well.

And the AOP's Sentiment Index shows that, during the coming year, digital media owners expect to reduce their focus on cutting costs and increase their attention on growing both advertising and non-advertising revenues.

Data sourced from comScore; additional content by Warc staff