Ofcom today published The Communications Market Report 2014 in the UK.

There are lots of interesting stats within, across telecoms, audio-visual industries, post and of course the internet.

No doubt we'll be covering the report fairly heavily, but I thought I'd start by rounding up the bits that caught my eye.

How is device use changing? How are people accessing media? How much are advertisers spending and on what?

Music streaming shows a generational shift

I thought I'd start by showing this chart because it's as clear a representation of changing habits as can be seen in the report.

The steady increase in music streaming and digital music collections as one moves down the age groups from 65+ towards the younger end is clear to see.

What's particularly interesting is to see the parity between all three formats within the 25-34 age group, which clearly represents the changing of the guard, where streaming (but also owned digital downloads) becomes more popular than ownership.

Convenience and price are clearly more important than ever.

music consumption - ofcom 

Take-up of connected devices grows

No surprise here, but the chart below does add some interesting context.

The two sharply inclining lines represent smartphone (red) and tablet (blue) usage. Smartphone usage has risen from 39% in 2011, to 51% in 2012 and 61% in 2013.

Tablets, though, have seen a more astonishing rise, pretty much doubling year on year, from 11% to 24% (2011 to 2012), then 24% to 44% (2012 to 2013).

(Click to enlarge)

household device usage 

...and spending from mobile increases...

The proportion of mobile internet users purchasing goods has increased from 20% to 24%, 2013 to 2014.

And these shoppers, as well as growing in number, are also spending more each quarter.

spend from mobile

...with mobile advertising growing accordingly...

This is one of the more pronounced trends in the advertising realm.

Mobile ad expenditure has doubled to more than £1bn in 2013. With 2014 also proving to be a big year for mobile ads, this level of increase may yet be maintained.

See Econsultancy's New Mobile Display Ecosystem report for more information.

(Click to enlarge)

mobile advertising growth

...but tablets are now the preferred device

This chart shows perhaps some respite for those that are slow to adapt to mobile. Those that use desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone rate the tablet as their most important device for internet access.

With more people browsing in lean back mode, the tablet is increasingly important for ecommerce, outstripping (for perceived importance) the smartphone.

tablets preferred

Ben Davis

Published 7 August, 2014 by Ben Davis @ Econsultancy

Ben Davis is Editor at Econsultancy. He lives in Manchester, England. You can contact him at ben.davis@econsultancy.com, follow at @herrhuld or connect via LinkedIn.

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Comments (4)



Great and informative article.

"The proportion of mobile internet users purchasing goods has increased from 20% to 24%, 2013 to 2014."

Why it is so imperative to inform your customers that having a "mobile-friendly" eCommerce store is so important.

about 4 years ago



Hi Ben,
Very informative article about digital music, mobile internet.Thanks for sharing this article.

about 4 years ago



Thank you very much for sharing you knowledge sir.
i appreciate your blog post.
Information about physical music, digital music and music stream collection according to age is very good and internet usage according to device is very good graph.

about 4 years ago


Nathan Still, Senior ecommerce Manager at BGL GroupEnterprise

Where to focus? When it comes to designing online experiences 'Mobile first' is still a much touted phrase. More recently 'Customer first', giving customers a choice of how they would like to interact is something I am pleased to be hearing a bit more of. This latest research certainly seems to support the 'Customer first' approach and not to hang your hat on just smartphones.

almost 4 years ago

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