According to a new survey carried out for Google, the average Briton spends around 164 minutes online every day, compared with 148 minutes watching television. Around two thirds of those surveyed said they had increased the time spent online in the last year, with the biggest increase seen among 16-24 year olds.

Comments Richard Gregory of Google UK: "This is not a changing of the guard, but it does show how people think about the place the internet has in their lives."

He adds: "It's definitely linked to the increase of broadband penetration and internet access as a whole. There's a learning curve as people find out how to interact with the web."

The online giant's research is backed by findings from media and telecoms watchdog Ofcom which says younger audiences are moving away from TV.

Its report into media literacy states that TV's 'reach' (the number of people viewing for at least 15 minutes) had declined by 2.5% among those aged between 25 and 34. The shift is even more marked among younger users, with reach down 2.9% among the under-25s over the same period.

Unsurprisingly, both Google and Ofcom are contradicted by the Broadcasters' Audience Research Board, which claims that in January viewers watched TV for an average of almost 238 minutes a day.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff