UK adults are now spending more time on their mobile devices compared to desktops or laptops

Anne Freier | September 15, 2017

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For the first time, smartphones are the preferred way to access the Internet among UK adults this year. That’s according to eMarketer’s latest UK media forecast which looks at time spent digital devices.
The research firm found that in 2017, adults are spending almost 2 hours a day using their smartphones. That’s more than the time they spend on desktops or laptops. This divide is expected to continue to grow to 2.14 hours by 2019 vs. 1.54 hours for desktops.
When factoring in tablets, UK adults are actually spending 2.45 hours daily on mobile devices. That’s an increase of almost 8% from 2016.
It is partially being fueled by more digital video viewing which has seen continued adoption by social media networks. The popularity of messaging apps has also helped attract more mobile time.

Adults in the UK are expected to spend an average 32 minutes daily viewing digital video on mobile devices, up 13.5% from 2016.
Overall, adults are spending 1 hour each day on social networks and more than half of the time they do so via smartphones.
Bill Fisher, senior analyst at eMarketer explains that mobile usage is “increasingly coming to mean smartphone use in the UK, so it’s no surprise to see the time spent forecast tilting evermore in that direction.” He adds:

“The trend within this trend is the growth in social media and video time. More than any other media on any other device, UK adults are migrating their social media and video habits to smartphones.”

eMarketer expects that adults will be spending around 9.31 hours per day with major media this year – up 0.5% from 2016. Digital media will account for around half of all media time (49.6%). Despite a drop in traditional media consumption, TV has continued to stay relatively steady.

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