11 things comms people should know about the Communications Market Report

Ofcom’s latest Communications Market Report is now out and, as ever, it makes fascinating reading.

It contains a huge amount of information about how people consume media and if you work in comms then it’s well worth taking the time to read the whole thing.

But if you just want the highlights, here are 11 things that I’ve learned from it:

  1. 88% of adults now have home internet access, an increase of six percentage points since 2014. But it’s significantly less common in some groups (53% for over 75s, and 74% for the DE socio-economic group).
  2. While home internet access for the over-75s is still low, it has seen a staggering level of growth. Since 2014, it’s increased a huge 21 percentage points.
  3. 76% of adults now own a smartphone, an increase five percentage points in a single year. It’s a different story for other devices, with laptop ownership staying the same (64%) and tablet ownership actually gone down slightly (from 59% to 58%).
  4. The smartphone is now by far the most important device for accessing the internet, with 42% of people saying is their most important device (the second highest ranking for this is 26% saying the laptop is their most important device).
  5. The over-55s are the big exception to this rule, with just 13% saying the smartphone is their most important device for accessing the internet (compared to 31% for the laptop). This means that while mobile-first design is increasingly important, it’s still not the right approach for every audience.
  6. Facebook is still by far the biggest social media site, with an audience of 39.7 million. And despite being massive already, it managed to increase its audience by 1.6 million between 2016 and 2017. Twitter is the second most popular, with an audience of 21.9 million.
  7. Among social media sites, Snapchat has seen the biggest increase; its audience rising from 7.2 million in 2016 to 10.3 million in 2017.
  8. LinkedIn saw the biggest drop, from 20 million in 2016 to 15.9 million in 2017.
  9. There seems to be a clear link between your age and the amount of time you spend on YouTube. The average 18 to 24-year-old viewer watched 31.9 hours in March 2017, compared to just 6.5 hours for the average viewer aged 55 or over.
  10. Paid-for search now accounts for almost half of total digital advertising expenditure (£5 billion out of a total of £10.3 billion).
  11. Mobile advertising expenditure grew by 44% in a single year, standing at £3.9billion in 2016. Mobile now accounts for 38% of total internet advertising.

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