Ofcom, the UK’s communications regulatory body, has recently completed its annual state of the nation study. And a pretty heavyweight tome it is too! Weighing in at more than 400 pages, the report covers all aspects of communications – television, radio etc as well as the Internet. You can download the relevant section here, but here are some of the main areas I found interesting. As I expected, mobile is driving the new face of the Net.

Ofcom main trends

  • Eight out of 10 people in the UK had access to the internet in the first quarter of 2012
  • Average time online per month per internet user stood at 23.5 hours for 2011
  • Two thirds of internet users have accessed Facebook
  • Social networking sites are increasingly being used to navigate online; Facebook generates almost a quarter of all referred traffic to YouTube (23.7%) in contrast to Googles 32.3%
  • Tablet ownership has jumped from 2% to 11% in 12 months
  • Spend on internet advertising is greater than any other category of advertising, at 4.8bn in 2011, against 4.2bn for TV and 3.9bn for press
  • Two in every five adults now own a smartphone. Smartphones have been a key enabler in the rise of the mobile internet; an internet-enabled device that has changed the way consumers live their everyday lives
  • More revenue is generated by internet advertising than by any other sector
  • The internet now accounts for 30% of advertising revenue in the UK. Internet advertising is a key source of revenue for many of the online services consumers use
  • Smartphones are substituting for other devices and media formats. The activities that smartphone users claim their handset is substituting for most are: watching video clips on a PC or laptop (51%), instant messaging from a PC or laptop (47%), taking photos with a camera (43%), accessing general news from a PC or laptop (39%) and social networking from a PC or laptop (37%)
  • Search and display are driving the growth of internet advertising. Search advertising (£2.8bn) was the largest source of internet ad spend in 2011, followed by display (£1.1bn), and classified (£0.8bn)
  • Online video display advertising revenue has doubled every year since 2008.