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UK adults will spend 2.5 hours a day on mobile devices in 2015

Thursday, April 16th 2015 by Ellen Branagh

UK adults will spend an average of nearly two-and-a-half hours a day on mobile devices this year, according to new research.

The estimated time of 2 hours 26 minutes with mobile devices is up 27 minutes from 2014 and marks an almost fivefold increase from 2011, when it was just 31 minutes.

The figure, part of eMarketer’s estimates of media consumption among UK adults, means that this year and for the first time ever, the amount of time UK adults spend daily with mobile devices will surpass the amount of time spent online via desktop and laptop computers.

Total time spent on non-voice mobile activities will surpass time spent on desktop/laptop computers by 13 minutes – the first time mobile will have overtaken PC use by this metric in the UK, according to the market research company.

eMarketer said time spent online via desktop or laptop computers has risen minimally over the past few years and is expected to see year-on-year growth of just three minutes for 2015.

This is in contrast to the gains in time spent with mobile devices, which have been much more vigorous.

Bill Fisher, analyst at eMarketer, said: "One trend underlies much of eMarketer's time spent estimates: UK adults aren't moving their media consumption habits to digital platforms at the expense of traditional ones; rather, they are adding it to their overall media day.

“This also holds true for platforms like social media, with time spent via mobile adding to time spent via laptops and desktops.”

'Simultaneous media consumption'

The firm estimates that UK adults will spend an average of 9 hours 34 minutes each day with major media in 2015 – up from 9 hours 7 minutes in 2014.

The figure includes “simultaneous media consumption” – so when someone uses a mobile device for an hour while watching television, it counts as an hour for each activity.

According to eMarketer, time spent with digital devices in the UK has grown rapidly over the past four years, rising from less than 2.5 hours in 2011 to an estimated 4 hours 39 minutes per day in 2015.

Smartphones account for the largest share of time spent on mobile devices, and in 2015 will make up 15.8% of UK adults’ total daily media time, or 1 hour 31 minutes. The gap between time spent on tablets compared to smartphones is also closing, eMarketer said.

In 2014, tablets accounted for 6.8% of UK adults' total media time each day – half the proportion for smartphones.

The firm estimates that tablet time will stand at 8.4% in 2015 – just 7.4% behind smartphones' 15.8% share.

eMarketer’s forecasts are based on worldwide and local trends in the economy, technology and population, as well as trends in consumer behavior, including data from research firms, government agencies, media outlets and company reports.

The estimates come after recent research showed that the popularity of the traditional television set is taking a hit as an increasing number of consumers opt to watch programmes on mobile devices.

Accenture’s Digital Video and the Connected Consumer report showed that consumers are turning to tablets, smartphones, laptops and even desktop computers to watch video content, accelerating the decline of traditional TV viewing.

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