Ofcom is an incredible resource for marketers and those working in any kind of media. They keep track of what UK customers are up to in terms of media and telecoms consumption. And not only that, they are now looking across Europe. And all this is free.
So if you fancy some light reading over the weekend, or need something for that train or plane journey home for Christmas, then you could do worse than download these latest Ofcom reports.
Ofcom’s International Communications Market Report (ICMR) 2014 examines take-up, availability, price and use of communications services across the world's major countries.
The UK is leading in many aspects of communication. The UK’s internet economy is one of the strongest in the world, driven by record online advertising, spending and entertainment consumption, new figures from Ofcom reveal. The country also leads the EU’s five biggest economies for broadband take-up, usage and superfast broadband coverage.
Ofcom finds that the UK has the highest e-commerce spending among the major nations surveyed in today’s research, with consumers paying almost £2,000 on average online for goods each year. This was significantly higher than the next-highest valued market of Australia (£1,356 per head).
Two-fifths (40%) of advertising spending in the UK is online - more than any of the other countries analysed. And the spend has doubled on mobile advertising.
The UK also has the highest coverage of superfast broadband among Europe’s five leading economies (the ‘EU5’ - France, Germany, Italy Spain and the UK). Nearly eight in 10 UK homes are now able to access superfast broadband, which provides connection speeds of 30 Mbit/s or above. (Note to self – I must upgrade my service!)
Interestingly, social networking usage has declined. I’ve certainly noticed that myself amongst my own contacts, particularly the younger ones. I expect they’re connecting via Snapchat, Whatsapp and Instagram rather than Facebook and Twitter.
The proportion of online adults in this country accessing social networks each week fell from 65% in September 2013 to 56% in October 2014. This was the steepest fall of any of the countries surveyed. That is quite a drop. And I wonder if it’s a blip or if it’s the beginning of the end of the social network as we know it?
Social network use also fell in the USA, Japan and China. However, it is still increasing in some other countries - including Italy, which is now the leading country for social networking, with three quarters of Italians using such sites at least once a week.
The other report that was published is the European Broadband Scorecard, which compares internet coverage, take-up, usage and choice between EU states. The reports underline the importance of the internet and broadband to UK consumers, businesses and the economy as a whole.