TouchPoints: Online use up but digital Britain not yet a reality

Britons are spending more time online, using their mobile phones and chatting on social networks, says a new TouchPoints survey.

However, digital is still far from being the dominant media force with Britons still preferring traditional mediums such as television and radio for visual and audio entertainment.

There also appears to be a significant generational and geographical gap in the use of digital media.

The IPA’s third TouchPoints survey, which aims to describe a week in the life of an average adult, found that 75% of adults use the internet each week, up from 53% in 2006. The amount of time people spend online has increased by 38%.

The time Britons spend social networking has increased by a massive 113% in two years with 37% of the adults using social networks each week, up from 16% in 2006.

Despite the rise of digital media, television remains the dominant medium in terms of average hours consumed and reach, at 3.7 hours and 98%, followed by outdoor (2.3 and 99%), radio (2.1 and 89%) and then the internet (1.8 and 75%).

Watching television and video online is enjoyed by less than 20% of adults and for just 15 minutes per day.

The survey also finds that the influence of Twitter and Linkedin might have been overstated with only 4% of adults using the micro-blogging service once a week or more, while the weekly reach for Linkedin is 1.4%.

Young adults were found to use the internet and social networks more than older users with 43% of 15-24 year-olds reporting an increase in time spent online compared to 20% growth among 55+ adults.

There also appears to be a gap in internet and social network usage between London/South East and the rest of the country.

The IPA notes a “strong regional bias” towards the capital in social network and internet use “with much lighter use” in the rest of the country.

Other key findings include:

Lifestyles – shopping trends

– The average amount of time spent shopping has fallen to 0.63 hours per day from 0.73 hours in 2008.
– A third (33%) say that they work longer hours than they did two years ago.


– 62% think that the 2010 Olympics will be good for Britain, a rise of 3% from 2008.
– But….46% feel the Government is spending too much money on the Games, 49% for those living in London.

Media trends

– Television viewing fell 5%, radio listening was up 1%, while reading has dropped 5% since 2008.
– The BBC reaches 98% of all adults with at least one of its television, radio, online and magazine properties.
– Sky only reaches about half that number.

This third TouchPoints survey, conducted by Ipsos Media, questioned 6,050 adults aged 15+ during late 2009 and early 2010.

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