Thursday, 23 August 2007

Ofcom's Annual Survey makes interesting reading

The media today was full of snippets from Ofcom's 4th annual report on the UK Communications Market. You can read the full 300+ report on the Ofcom site Click here . For all lovers of loads of data and charts it is an excellent read. As it is 'free' it's not bad value either!

The key headline in the press was that kids were now spending more time on the internet - on social networking sites in particular - and less time watching the TV and DVDs or playing computer games. I find that quite encouraging.

17% of all UK internet users now have a social networking profile. But the difference by age is huge. 42% of students have such a profile but only 2% amongst retired people. I am clearly in the minority here! More in my Power to the People speech.

Another headline was around females in the 18-34 year old age group (strangely called the "Digital Mums") now spending more time on line than males in that age group. Shopping and social networking were cited as the reasons. Silver surfers (which Ofcom defines as those aged 65+ - I must admit that most others define 'silver surfers' as those aged 55+) however spend more time on line each month - 42 hours - than any other group. However, only 16% of such 'silver surfers' surf at all!

The point that Ofcom doesn't make is that those currently over 65 would have been unlikely to have used the internet at work. As the years go on, far more retired people will be fully computer literate and the numbers of internet users in that category will rocket. Even now 25% of all UK internet users are over 50 and they account for 30% of all the time that Britons spend on line. A HUGE market! Particularly as they have high disposable incomes

The other point that interested me was how the real cost of a bundle of residential telcom services was falling year-after-year-after-year. I've used many charts to illustrate this "more-for-less" syndrome in other sectors of the ICT market. I shall now add this one!

I'm sure I shall add more on this extremely interesting report when I have had time to read it more thoroughly.

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