How the UK is spending time online: Ofcom’s Online Nation report

Posted on: Thursday 09 June 2022 | IAB UK

The annual report includes how people perceive the internet, their experiences of using it and how they are served by online content providers and platforms

Ofcom’s Online Nation report reveals how being online is essential to communication in the UK, with nearly all (94%) of UK adult internet users using an online communications service for messaging and calling in 2021. 

There is also a notable shift in how people access the internet, with one in five exclusively using a smartphone to go online, compared to one in ten the previous year. Other key stats revealing how people access and how long they spend on the internet include:

  • UK adult internet users spent almost four hours online a day in September 2021, with three of those spent on smartphones 
  • Young adults continue to spend the most time online, with 18-24 year-olds spending an average of 5 hours 6 minutes online each day
  • 73% of time spent online per day by UK adults was on a smartphone

Ofcom’s study also reveals a significant number of people (58%) are watching video game related content and playing games online. Further gaming stats include:

  • 39% of UK adults aged 16+ play games online 
  • 58% of UK gamers aged 13-64 subscribe to a gaming subscription service
  • 20% of British adults said they played free-to-play digital games at least monthly

Regarding user experience, Ofcom’s report identifies the prevalence of online risks, particularly among women. The study also identifies that 67% of UK internet users aged 13+ feel that the benefits of being online outweighs the risks.

You can find Ofcom’s Online Nation 2022 report in full here

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