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UK Insights

Google turns 20: The evolution of online behaviour in the UK

Aidan Golds

Marketing Executive, UK & Ireland

Digital 24.09.2018 / 11:00

woman sofa computer

To celebrate the birthday of Google, Kantar Media looks at the evolution of consumer’s behaviour when it comes to internet usage.

Back in 2000, the Kantar Media TGI study showed that 71% of the respondents had never used the internet (either at home or at work). The over-65 age group contributed 26% of the non-internet users. The rest of the age groups were very even, ranging from 12% to 17%.

Fast forward 3 years to 2003 and the percentage of the population that were internet users jumped up from the 29% to 57%, overtaking the non-user figure in just 3 years. At this point in time, less young people were in the non-internet group, accounting for just 8% of them. Again the 65+ age group were the biggest contributors, more so than in 2000, with 37%.

In the following years, as the internet became more accessible, TGI adapted and we were able to find out more about the internet user. In 2008, 75.5% of the population had used the internet in the last 12 months. 44% had accessed the internet for the first time more than 5 years previously, and 15% were new to it within the last 6 months.

92% of internet users had accessed the internet at home and 32% had accessed it at work (respondents could choose multiple locations if relevant). 28% of internet users had spent more than 30 hours a month on the internet and 18% had used it for less than 5 hours a month. Just under 2% of users had accessed the internet through a digital TV and 15% had accessed it via a mobile phone.

By 2013, 86% of the GB population had accessed the internet in the last 12 months, and 80% of those who hadn’t were aged over 55. Questions regarding time spent were now asked by hours per week instead of per month, which suggested 40% of internet users were medium users (5-19 hours per week), whereas heavy (20+ hours) and light (0-5 hours) users accounted for 29% and 28% respectively. In 2013 only 5% had accessed the internet on an internet-enabled TV, but 50% had accessed it through a mobile compared to just 15% in 2008.

Looking at the latest data in 2018, 95% of the British population have accessed the internet in the last 12 months. This year’s data really showed how consumption has changed: more people were heavy users than medium or light users, with 40% of the population using the internet more than 20 hours in a week. 73% of users have accessed the internet via a mobile phone and 54% via a tablet, 85% are accessing via a laptop, which has decreased from 2013 (89%) thanks to access to portable options whenever people want.

TV is proving to be a strong contributor with 14% of users now accessing the internet via a TV. The internet provides consumers with a wide range of functionalities and uses; for example, 70% of the population have used the internet for online shopping and 71% have used it for online banking.

To read more on connected consumers and a view on the space by industry leaders, make sure to download our DIMENSION study here.

Source : Kantar Media

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