Video killed the radio star, but is smartphone killing the TV star?

We’ve heard it over and over, social media will replace newspapers, smartphones will replace desktops, streaming music will replace the radio and tablets will replace TV.

But as Brits are more connected and the digital revolution doesn’t stop, are fewer people really using traditional devices?

Television is still the most consumed media

When looking at the time spent per day on average by device, television is still a clear winner with 239 minutes, followed by radio with 183 minutes and the mobile phone with 87 minutes (source: BARB data).

Television is still central to Brits’ media consumption.

However, TV consumption is shifting

Nonetheless, there has been a 4.9% drop in time spent watching broadcast TV viewing among individuals, which represents a decline of 11 minutes per day for all age groups (source: BARB data).

Explanation of this lies in the fact that people are moving away from live TV. For the total population this is 69% of their viewing activities (source: Ofcom) but it falls to half among 16-24 year olds.

Recorded TV now represents 16% of overall TV viewing. This is even higher among 45-54 year olds (20% of their viewing time).

On-demand and catch-up TV represents 5% of daily viewing (the same as TV or films on DVD, Blu-Ray and VHS) and increases to 13% for 16-24 year olds. What is interesting is the trend, as 42% of people who said they were watching less broadcast TV said they were using more catch-up/on-demand services year-on-year (source: GFK).

Radio still accounts for most of the listening time

Among all adults, radio is still the most popular channel representing 71% of listening time. Our own digital music represents 11% and streaming only 6%.

However, there is a shift among 16-24 year olds as their own digital music and streaming represents the most popular listening activity with 30% for both. This has overtaken radio which now accounts for 24% of their listening time (source: Ofcom).

But newspapers and radio have been overtaken by websites and apps for news consumption

While 12% of Brits say that newspapers are their main source for UK and World news, when apps and websites are combined through computer/tablets and phones, they are quoted by 15% of individuals (source: Ofcom). This looks likely to grow further.

Smartphones over laptops

It is now official, for the first time, Brits are part of a smartphone society as usage has overtaken laptops and desktops for internet browsing. 33% of all internet users connect to the web through their smartphone, 30% through laptops and 19% through tablets (only 14% do so with their desktop) according to Ofcom.

Therefore, we need to keep in mind that people are more likely to see ads on smaller screens which shows the importance of a responsive design adapted to smartphones.

So it seems that as marketers, we need to think of digital first as trends move towards connected devices, and are even stronger for younger target audiences.

However, traditional media is still extremely strong for reach and impact so it can’t be underrated.

The marketing mix continues to fragment, making smart cross-media planning all the more important.


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