The number of adults regularly watching DVDs, videos or Blu-ray discs has fallen in the last year by almost 10% (63% to 55%), new Ofcom research reveals.
The use of social networking sites remained stable at 66%, but people are using them more regularly. Sixty per cent of those with an active social media site profile visited these sites more than once a day in 2013, up from 50% in 2012.
Meanwhile, the number of people aged 65 and over accessing the internet has risen by more than a quarter in the past year, driven by a three-fold increase in the use of tablet computers to go online. This has helped to drive overall internet use up from 79% of adults in 2012 to 83% in 2013, according to Ofcom’s Adults’ Media Use and Attitudes Report.
Older people spend significantly less time surfing the web than younger people (16-24 year olds), adds the report, who on average spend more than a whole day (24 hours 12 minutes) each week online. UK adult internet users spend an estimated average 16 hours 54 minutes online each week, which compares to an average 9 hours 12 minutes online per week among those over 65.
While the majority of adult internet users undertake nine online activities at least quarterly, the majority of over 65s use the internet to carry out just two online activities this regularly – browsing websites (77%) and using email (77%).
Those over 65 are significantly less likely than all internet users to do a range of online activities, including banking online (35% versus 61%), watching or downloading TV programmes or films (25% versus 40%) and visiting social network sites or apps (30% versus 68%)
Ofcom’s research highlighted generational differences in preferences for the types of media consumed. TV watching continues to be the media that adults say they would miss most (42%) if it was taken away, but this varies considerably by age.
People aged 16-24 are more than three times more likely to choose their smartphone (47%) over TV (13%). The majority of people aged 65 and over say they would most miss watching TV (68%).
Ofcom’s Adults Media Use and Attitudes Report 2014 is available here. The report covers the use and attitudes of UK adults across the key platforms of the internet, television, radio, games and mobile phones.