As part of it’s statutory duty to “promote media literacy” Ofcom has just published, its annual research document, Adults media use and attitudes report 2012 (pdf) “The purpose of this report is to support people working in this area to develop and promote media literacy among these groups. The core focus of our research work is to understand UK adults’ usage habits and attitudes across TV, radio, internet, mobile phones and games.”
Apart from feeling that one way Ofcom could reduce its costs even further, in these difficult times, would be to cut down on the sheer size of their reports. This one has 137 pages and an annex with another 14.
We couldn’t help but notice the response to this question:
“Which one of these would you miss doing the most?”
Their graphic is for all adults 16+ (that’s 1,823 in their research sample in 2011). Lots more analysis in the report on pages 23-25.
For 2011 we have used their colour coding, but simply, for practical reasons, have shortened some of the categories.in an attempt to isolate and highlight these results as we find them unbelievable.
We’re not research experts but wonder about the overall context of the survey and the specific question asked as to whether these responses reflect the general public view.
Let’s imagine, in turn, what would happen if these media (excluding the internet) were unavailable:
- TV – Watch it on the various Players around or on another device.
- Mobile – Problematic but twitter facebook and emails would have to suffice
- Radio – Listen on the various Players around or on another device
- Papers – Read online from the numerous sources
- Music non MP3 – Listen via MP3 player or online
- Music MP3 – Listen online using another device.
- Games – Play online using another device
- Videos – Watch online using another device
- Tablets – Use another device
So whilst we are possibly cheating by mixing content and devices, for our arguments benefit, you hopefully will get our drift. Life without the internet would be at best very difficult and at worst disastrous – much worse than eg a fuel strike for example!
Some evidence from within the report which we feel may add to our case comes from the 14 page annex we already mentioned (pdf) on the relative usage/popularity of the internet and TV (it lists the top 50 websites and top 20 TV programmes again with copious analyses)
On the Top 50 web entities accessed by adults the unique audience figures for the top 10 (starting at Google – brand, 24.1 million, through Microsoft – brand, 12.0 million) totals 163 million ish. This relates just to the month of October 2011. On the top 10 TV programme audiences throughout the whole of 2011 (from Strictly Come Dancing (17/12/11) 12.3 million through Eastenders (3/01/11) 10.2 million) totals 102 million ish. That’s a 60% greater “audience”.
There may be a counter argument concerning average hours spent using watching but this is closing and will get confusing as “TV” gets connected one way or another. The relative figures (both from Ofcom of course) are watching TV 24.35 hours per week and internet usage (page 4) 15.1 hours a week. Thats a 61% greater length of “use”of TV!
So we do spend a huge amount of our Life online which is the title of “…. the world’s first gallery dedicated to exploring the social, technological and cultural impact of the internet. This permanent gallery will trace the history of the internet, uncover how it has changed people’s lives and track the latest trends.”