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Most UK Households Spend More Time Online Than Watching TV

Monday, January 22nd, 2018 (12:24 pm) - Score 707

A new survey of 2,500 UK consumers, which was conducted by business and tax advisory firm EY during Aug 2017, has revealed that 56% of UK households spend more time on the internet (inc. streaming) than watching TV (up from 49% in 2016) and 77% think of broadband as a utility service like gas etc.

The study also found that 50% of all the households surveyed believe the internet is fundamental to their social lives (up from 48% in 2016) and 25% have now turned to mobile devices (Smartphones and Tablets) as their primary means of getting online (up from 16%). On top of that 45% of households think the internet is very important in terms of working or running a business from home (up from 41% in 2016).

Clearly technology is changing peoples’ lives rapidly, but EY said it’s important to remember that “not all consumers are on the cutting edge“. Some 40% of households still use their landlines every week and do not have “superfast broadband“, while 36% watch TV as its broadcast nearly every day and 31% rely on the desktop PC as their main way to access the internet.

Unsurprisingly 77% of households now think of broadband connectivity as a utility like gas or electricity and 60% rate reliability of their internet connection as more important than speed. However 21% of households said they were dissatisfied with the response to their broadband issue by customer services.

Meanwhile 51% agreed that they still need to access the internet when on the move (Mobile), which is up sharply from 38% in 2016.

Praveen Shankar, EY Partner and Telecoms Sector Leader, said:

“Households are enjoying unprecedented levels of connectivity, transforming their social and home lives as well as their viewing and working habits. This is driving major changes in what they consume and how they do so. However, companies need to focus on allaying customers’ doubts about trust and privacy in order to maintain momentum and growth.”

In keeping with the above comment, it’s noted that most people now take online privacy very seriously. Some 71% are cautious about disclosing personal and financial information over the internet, even when using a site they know and trust (up from 61% in 2016 and 52% in 2013).

Despite this we would point out to EY that you can still have such a thing as a “cutting edge” desktop PC / MAC (some of us need the bigger screen and faster processors etc.). On top of that services like NOW TV mean that it’s also possible to watch live TV channels over the internet, which makes it increasingly difficult to use “traditional” TV viewing in any comparison with time spent online.

EY Survey – Decoding the digital home
http://www.ey.com/../ey-decoding-the-digital-home

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
6 Responses
  1. Brett says:

    My kids do not understand live TV. Weird as that sounds, they don’t get it. They have lived all their life with the idea that when you switch a screen on, you can select which programme to watch. I can’t see how live TV can exists in a few decades time as people just won’t be watching it.

    1. timeless says:

      with all the drivel on TV lm not surprised, lets face it most ppl would rather watch what they want, when they want it.

    2. Toby Adams says:

      My daughter is exactly the same. No interest in live TV.

    3. joe pineapples says:

      They don’t watch any live sporting events then?. can’t beat live for that stuff.

    4. Brett says:

      No they don’t. Closest we get to live sports is F1, and even then it’s time shifted so they can spin through the ads.

  2. Simon says:

    TV? what’s that? It’s catchup or nothing with me. NO need to pay for a licence then, don’t watch any drivel the BBC put out

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