The amount of time UK adults spend with digital devices and platforms continues to grow rapidly, with UK consumers spending an extra half hour every day on such devices this year compared to last year, according to eMarketer’s latest estimates of media consumption in the country. In 2015, total media consumption time in the UK is expected to reach nine hours and 31 minutes, with digital accounting for a 48.7 per cent share. This figure is set to increase to 51.5 per cent next year.
Consumers in the UK have been quick to take their media consumption habits onto digital platforms and channels—and increasingly to mobile ones. This rapid increase of digital has been chiefly the result of a surge in time spent with various mobile devices among UK adults. While time spent online via desktop or laptop computers has risen minimally over the past several years—and is expected to see year-over-year growth of just three minutes for 2015—growth in time spent with mobile devices has been much more vigorous.
“UK consumers already have a pretty packed media day, but mobile use is clearly filling in any gaps,” said Bill Fisher, analyst at eMarketer. “The rapid rise in time spent with mobile comes as no surprise. With each new smartphone or tablet release, the computing capabilities of these mobile devices improves, and consumers are clearly putting them to good use.”
eMarketer estimates UK adults’ average total daily mobile time will reach two hours 24 minutes this year, up 27 minutes from 2014 and an almost fivefold increase from 2011, when that figure stood at just 31 minutes. As a result, total time spent on nonvoice mobile activities will surpass time spent on desktop or laptop computers by ten minutes, the first time mobile will have overtaken PC use by this metric.
Within the mobile category, smartphones continue to account for the largest share of time spent. As a proportion of UK adults’ total media time in 2015, smartphones will account for 16.5 per cent, or one hour 34 minutes.
Time spent with tablets will continue to lag time spent with smartphones. In 2014, tablets accounted for 6.6 per cent of UK adults’ total media time—half the proportion for smartphones. eMarketer estimates that tablet time will stand at 7.7 per cent in 2015— 8.8 per cent behind smartphones’ 16.5 per cent share.
Tablets’ rising prominence will also be reflected in growth figures for average time spent. This year, the amount of time UK adults spend with tablets will expand 22.3 per cent over 2014, eMarketer estimates. This will be slower than the growth in smartphone time spent 26.6 per cent, due to the growth in smartphone screen size, prevalence in 4G availability and consumer adoption of media suitable for more smartphone usage. This will also mark a slowdown in the emphatic tablet time growth seen over the past four years, reflecting maturation in tablet penetration.