The Office of Communications has just released its annual report on the trends and developments in the UK’s communications market. The trends that hit the headlines are the rise of the web browsing and use of mobile phones, and the falling off of the traditional television, radio and landline, but at 337 pages the report contains a wealth of detailed pieces of information of interest.
So, starting with the healines:
-UK has the most active online population in Europe with users averaging 34.4 hrs online per month, with 56% of users accessing the internet every day.
-Women spend more time online than men, and this time is spent shopping and on social network sites.
Unfortunately it would seem that the although the UK users are online a lot, this is not being reflected in a major web presence amongst the most popular web sites, with only the BBC and runescape.com making the top ten web sites by time spent online. The others were all the usual contenders from the US. The top 10: ebay, bebo, BBC google, myspace, MSN, yahoo, youtube, facebook, runescape. Until I read (skimmed) this report I had never heard of runescape despite all my online hours (I am far closer to 34.4 hours a day that 34.4 hours a month). Its high position has a lot to do with a relative small number of users being online for long periods of time; whereas the BBC has 11.7 million unique visitors in the UK, runescape has 0.7 million.
Whilst the report highlights the rise in the use of ICT, it is also interesting to note that there is by no means universal access to these technologies in the UK. Could I really cope with living in one of the areas in the UK where not only couldn’t I use a 3G phone, but I couldn’t get 2G, or digital tv, or digital radio, or broad band. Whilst a lot of this is likely to be for geographical and population density reasons, it would be interesting to know the effect it is thought to have on the economy within these areas.
Whilst the report is packed with information about the communications sector, it doesn’t yet give details of mobile television usage (which I would have been interested in), although I would expect it appear in next year’s report. Nonetheless well worth a look.