Ofcom reveals massive surge in use of multimedia

The average person spends half their waking hours using communication devices, according to research from industry regulator Ofcom.

The average person spends half their waking hours using communication devices, according to research from industry regulator Ofcom.

Consumers are now sending four times as many texts per day than in 2004, spending almost a quarter of their time on the internet and three hours and 45 minutes a day watching TV.

The research found that men spend nearly an hour more per day using media than women - an average of 7 hours 33 minutes compared with 6 hours 38 minutes.

Although more consumers are using communications devices, overall technology spend has decreased. The average monthly spend per household fell by 9.4 % over the past five years to £91.24. This is partly due to people buying "bundle" offers, said the Ofcom report.

Peter Phillips, strategy and market developments partner at Ofcom, said, "For the first time we can see just how central media and communications are to our lives - on average we use them for nearly half our waking hours.

"Younger people have shown the biggest changes in how we use media. But the divide between younger and older people's use of technology is starting to narrow."

Smartphone ownership surged in the last year, up by 81% from 7.2 million users in May 2009 to 12.8 million in May 2010. While surfing the internet via mobile phones was found to be the fastest growing mobile media activity.

"Increasingly, mobile devices - especially smartphones - are used for multimedia, but live evening TV still remains the main entertainment event of the day," said Phillips.

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