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Mobile leads desktop in UK

News, 17 April 2015

UK: This year will see a tipping point in the media consumption habits of UK adults as the (non-voice) time spent on mobile devices overtakes that spent on desktops and laptops.

The latest estimates of media consumption from insights provider eMarketer indicate that during 2015 UK adults will spend an average of 2 hours and 26 minutes a day on mobile compared to 2 hours and 13 minutes on desktop/laptop.

Since 2011, time spent on the latter has increased by only a few minutes each year, while that spent on the former has leapt ahead between 20 and 30 minutes every year.

Most of the time spent on mobile is with smartphones – 62% in 2015, the same as in 2014 – while tablets make up the majority of the time left. Feature phones are still being used, however, accounting for a consistent seven minutes of the total in recent years.

Bill Fisher, analyst at eMarketer, highlighted a particular trend that had informed the figures.

"UK adults aren't moving their media consumption habits to digital platforms at the expense of traditional ones; rather, they are adding it to their overall media day," he explained.

"This also holds true for platforms like social media, with time spent via mobile adding to time spent via laptops and desktops."

Taken together, time spent on digital, at 4 hours and 39 minutes in 2015, is now well ahead of that spent on non-digital television, at 3 hours and 12 minutes (a two minute drop on 2014 and a seven minute drop since 2011).

That equates to almost half (48.6%) of the time spent daily with major media. Smartphones alone account for 15.8% of media time with tablets on 8.4%.

And while time spent with tablets will continue to lag that spent on smartphones, the gap is slowly closing: eMarketer said the time spent with them was growing faster than the time spent with smartphones, although the rate of increase was slowing as the tablet market matured.

Data sourced from eMarketer; additional content by Warc staff