LONDON: Almost half of UK adults now own a tablet and an increasing number of households have more than one, according to new figures from Kantar Media.

Data from the research company's syndicated study, futurePROOF, based on interviews with 2,000 people from Kantar Media's TGI database, showed that 45% of all GB adults now have a tablet (March 2014), up from 36% at the end of 2013 and 32% a year ago.

The highest penetration was found to be among 35-44 year olds where 58% of adults now have at least one tablet in their home. Presence of children is the strongest driver of this, with 69% of parents of school age children having a tablet at home.

Further, it was apparent that tablets are well on their way to becoming personal devices for household members rather than something shared between them. More than four out of ten users now live in a home with more than one tablet (up six percentage points in the last six months), opening up greater opportunities for advertisers to target specific users.

Despite being mobile devices, a significant proportion of users (44%) never take their tablet out of the house and just 8% do so daily. Kantar Media suggested that this was a reflection of the different usage patterns of the new tablet owners who had entered the market.

They were typically using their tablets instead of their smartphones for gaming or to watch or catch up on TV programmes or films and YouTube videos; anything, in fact, where a larger, better screen would enhance the experience.

Kantar Media also found that tablets are playing a growing role in the purchase process: 53% of users researched information on a product or service using their device, up from 44% six months ago.

A major factor in the rise of the tablet has been the fall in price at the lower end of the market, which, Trevor Vagg, Director, Kantar Media Custom, noted had turned "what was a premium device into something that's much more ubiquitous but also increasingly as personal as the smartphone".

Tablets are now a 'need to have' rather than just a 'nice to have', he declared, a shift which was "open[ing] new doors for advertisers in terms of targeted messaging opportunities".

Data sourced from Kantar Media; additional content by Warc staff