UK adults spent more time online on desktop, smartphones or tablets in 2020 than comparable European countries according to Ofcom’s annual study into the nation’s online habits.
Ofcom’s Online Nation 2021 delivers a snapshot of an unprecedented year, when communication, entertainment, culture, retail, work and education moved more online.
UK adults spent more than three-and-a-half hours online each day in 2020 – more than an hour longer than in Germany and France and 30 minutes more than Spain.
Brits also spent nearly £2.45 billion (€2.85bn) on, and in, mobile apps across in 2020, with Tinder, Disney+, YouTube and Netflix topping the list.
The report also reveals:
“In an unprecedented year, we’ve seen a real acceleration in our migration to online services – which, for many people, have provided a lifeline in lockdown,” noted Yih-Choung Teh, Ofcom’s Group Director of Strategy and Research.
“This research is critical to keep pace with these changes in technology, economics and behaviour, as we prepare to take on new responsibilities for regulating online safety.”
Alongside the full report and interactive report, Ofcom is publishing three third-party reports designed to help Ofcom better understand people’s online habits, behaviours and attitudes.
These reports are:
Ofcom is also publishing an independent report by PA Consulting on transparency in the regulation of online platforms as part of its preparation to take on new responsibilities regulating online safety.