New Ofcom report gives valuable insight into media-related consumer behaviour

13th September 2018 by Sophy Norris

Ofcom has released its annual Communications Market Report.  It is worth checking out the link to see the various ways Ofcom has laid out the report, including a rather nifty interactive version taking you straight to the information of most interest to you.  Nevertheless, it’s a hefty document, but worth the read for marketers who like to keep their fingers firmly on the pulse.

If you’ve not got the time to plough through all 93 (gulp!) pages however, we’ve picked out some of the major points of interest below:

Internet uptake is growing fastest on mobile.

78% of Brits own a smartphone, and we check our phones (on average) every 12 minutes. According to Ofcom, the average internet user spends an incredible 24 hours a week online – much of which is via their phone. This drives home the point that everyone should be making mobile-compatible content.

TV is the second most popular media platform.

Good old-fashioned telly has clawed its way out of the doldrums by adopting digital. Innovations like Chromecast are putting the television back at the heart of family life. So, it may be time to think about giving TV marketing strategies a digital reboot.

Google and Facebook rule the internet.

49.1 million UK adults regularly visited Google sites last year. Of these, YouTube was the most popular, followed by Google Search. Facebook was the second most-visited platform at 40.2 million visitors.

Facebook seems to have dodged the data-scandal bullet. 77% of Brits either use a Facebook profile or Facebook services (e.g. Messenger, WhatsApp). It seems that Facebook has become an essential part of daily life and business in the UK – ‘too big to fail’.

Smart phones and watches beat tablets and consoles.

Smartphones are currently the most popular internet-connected device, but people are increasingly interested in the Internet of Things – Smart Watches and other digital wearables gaining in popularity.  By contrast, the uptake of tablets and consoles has peaked over the last three years.

There is a digital divide

However popular digital is, you still need to cater for other platforms. We’re a long way from the point where one digital strategy can rule them all. Over-54s and lower income households are less likely to have smartphones and/or broadband, but will probably own a TV. Bear this in mind when targeting.

Internet-disseminated voice media is set to be the next big thing.

Radio – or, at least, voice media – is enjoying a resurgence. Led by Amazon’s audio streaming service Audible and backed up by voice activated tech like Alexa, the spoken word is Britain’s new favourite thing. Consumers find audio media less all-encompassing than text or video.

So, whilst there are no major surprises here – we all knew that mobile and Google were going to come out on top – the renewed popularity of TV and radio are an interesting development. It will be fascinating to see how PRs and marketers make the most of these new (old) media!

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