How Media Consumption and Use Has Changed in a Decade

We’re always keeping our ear to the ground when it comes to news, updates and recent studies about all things digital marketing and media. Which is why Ofcom’s Media Use and Attitudes 2015 report particularly caught our eye, focusing on how consumers’ use of online media channels has changed over the past 10 years.
 
You could say some of the findings are perhaps unsurprising, but nevertheless, the numbers are staggering in terms of change in a short space of time. People are spending twice as much time online compared to a decade ago, according to Ofcom, fuelled by increasing use of tablets and smartphones as technology and digital platforms continue to emerge and evolve at a rapid pace.
 
Here’s a round-up of some of the key stats with graphics used from the original post.
 

Living an online life

Back in 2005 internet users aged 16 and above claimed to spend 9 hours and 54 minutes online each week, while in 2014 this doubled to over 20 hours and 30 minutes. The biggest increase was among 16-24 year olds, jumping from 10 hours and 24 minutes each week in 2005, to 27 hours and 36 minutes by the end of 2014. This may even be higher in 2015…
 
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On the go convenience

Because of this freedom to browse online while out and about, away from our desks and laptops, the amount of time has increased massively over the past ten years, from 30 minutes in 2005 to 2 hours and 18 minutes in 2014.
 
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Going crazy for tablets

No, we can’t believe it either…Apple’s iPad launched in the UK five years ago. FIVE YEARS. Since then, the adoption of tablets and smartphones has become mainstream and boosted time spent online.
 
Compared to just 5% of adults using a tablet for online purposes in 2010, four years later this grew to 39%, while using a smartphone more than doubled in five years, from 30% to 66% in 2014.
 

Mobile messaging on the move

WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and BBM – ten years ago, we’d never heard of them; these days, these instant messaging apps are a key means of communicating.
 
From 29% of mobile users in 2013 to 42% in 2014, mobile instant messaging has grown rapidly, particularly within the 25-34 year olds, which saw a jump from 38% in 2005 to 80% of internet users between this age group.
 
Compared to 70% in 2005, 90% of mobile users in 2014 sent text messages, while using our phones to send emails has also grown from 5% in 2005 to 52% in eight years. Making a phone call over the internet (VoIP) stood at 27% in 2013, while a year later this increased to 43%.
 

Never-ending social growth

Social media just keeps growing; back in 2007, 22% of internet users aged 16 and above had a social media profile, tripling to 72% in 2014. 81% of social media users log into Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram at least once a day, up from 30% in 2007.
 
Interestingly, the 35-44 year old age group has seen the biggest growth, with 12% of internet users on social media in 2007 compared to 80%. Meanwhile, in 2014 49% of 55-64 year olds now have a social media profile, an increase of 16% from 2013.
 

Online worries and concerns

Perhaps surprisingly, concerns about the internet have dropped from 70% in 2005 to 51% in 2014. When it comes to mobile apps, however, there is more worry – 28% in 2014 compared to 20% a year earlier, mainly focusing around security, fraud or privacy.
 
Although 68% are comfortable with providing personal information online, more say they would never provide their credit or debit card details (13% in 2013, up to 21% a year later), or their mobile number (17% in 2013 to 26% in 2014).
 

Public and civic activities

There is more information over on the full report, but it is worth noting the increase of people going online for public or civic activities: up from 49% in 2005 to 78% in 2014. 44% of internet users visited political or campaigning websites, compared to 19% nine years previous.
 

Battle between mobile and TV

This is where we see a notable difference between the age groups when it comes to TV versus mobile. 37% of adults say they would miss their TV more than any other device, with mobiles coming a close second (32%). On the other hand, 59% of 16-24 year olds stated their phone would be the first thing they missed compared to just 17% for TV.
 

Online entertainment and gaming

Another trend that has dramatically increased is how we are watching TV and video on the internet. In 2007 one in ten of us was doing so, then fast-forward eight years and 27% of internet users now watch TV and film online. When it comes to watching video clips online, this has near doubled in just eight years, from 21% to 39% of users.
 
Looking at gaming, mobile devices are now the primary device used, with 26% playing games at least once a week compared to 17% playing them on games consoles, and 15% of adults using a tablet. In 2014, 22% of internet users regularly played games online, up from 10% in 2005.
 
digital-takeup
[Note: Full infographic over here.]
 
It will be fascinating to see how the stats, attitudes and technological offerings change over time, within the next ten years. Already predictions have been made but only time will tell whether we become more consumed by digital media; it’s an exciting time for both marketers and consumers either way!