The Media in Figures: Media use by adults, mainly online use

PEOPLE are spending twice as much time online, compared to ten years ago – according to research published by the broadcasting regulators, Ofcom.

And, says the watchdog, the increase has been “fuelled by increasing use of tablets and smartphones”.

Says Ofcom’s Media Use and Attitudes 2015 report, now in its tenth year, internet users aged 16 and above claimed to spend nearly ten hours (nine hours and 54 minutes) online each week in 2005. But by last year, it had climbed to over 20 hours and 30 minutes.

Among the findings:

* Internet use among 16-24 year-olds, up from ten hours and 24 minutes each week in 2005 to 27 hours and 36 minutes by the end of last year.

* Last year, internet users spent over three-and-a-half hours longer online each week than  the previous year (20 hours and 30 minutes in 2014, compared to 16 hours and 54 minutes in 2013).

* The amount of time spent online while ‘out and about’ – ie away from home, work or their place of study – has increased from 30 minutes in 2005 to nearly two-and-a-half hours last year.

* The proportion of adults using the internet has risen by half – from six in ten in 2005 to almost nine in ten today.

* Over a quarter (27 per cent) of internet users regularly watch TV or films online, compared to one in ten in 2007. This rises to 39 per cent of 16-24 year-olds, up from 21 per cent in 2007.

* Watching video clips online has almost doubled over the past eight years, from 21 per cent to 39 per cent of internet users.

* Nearly three quarters (72 per cent) of internet users aged 16 and above say they have a social media profile, compared to 22 per cent in 2007.

* Some 81 per cent of social media users log into these websites or apps – including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram or Tumblr – at least once a day, up from 30 per cent in 2007.

* Social media has seen the biggest growth among 35-44 year-olds, with 80 per cent of internet users in this age group now on social media, up from just 12 per cent in 2007.

* Nearly half (49 per cent) of 55-64 year-olds who go online have a social media profile, up from one third (33 per cent) in 2013.

* When asked which device they would miss the most, 37 per cent of adults said they would miss their TV more than any other device. Thirty-two per cent said their mobile phone. But for 16-24 year-olds, 59 per cent said they would miss their mobile the most, compared to 17 per cent saying TV.

* The majority of internet users (68 per cent) are happy to provide personal information online in the belief they will benefit in some way. But more people say they would never provide their credit or debit card details (21 per cent in 2014, compared to 13 per cent in 2013) or their mobile number (26 per cent in 2014, 17 per cent in 2013).

* In 2014, nearly eight in ten internet users (78 per cent) said they had gone online to find out about a public service, up from half (49 per cent) in 2005.

* More internet users say they have visited political or campaigning websites, up from 19 per cent in 2005 to 44 per cent in 2014.

Source: Media Use and Attitudes 2015 report, Ofcom, May 11 2015.