11th edition of Ofcom's International Communications Market report

posted on 16 December, 2016   (public)

11th edition of Ofcom's International Communications Market report

On 16 December 2016, Ofcom, the converged regulator in the UK, published its eleventh International Communications Market Report (ICMR) which provides comparative international data on the communications sector on the availability, take-up and use of services in the UK and 17 comparator countries.

The aim of the report is to benchmark the UK communications sector against a range of comparator countries in order to assess how the UK is performing in an international context. The report covers the year 2015 and compares the UK with 17 countries: France, Germany, Italy, the US, Japan, Australia, Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Poland, Singapore, South Korea, Brazil, Russia, India, China and Nigeria.

An valuable addition to this years' edition is an infographic benchmarking the UK with eight countries on media and communications.

Some key points of the 2016 ICMR include:

  • UK communications sector revenues were the second highest in Europe (after Germany), with people in the UK among the heaviest users of smartphones and the most avid users of catch-up services. Six in ten respondents in the UK say they watch catch-up or on-demand TV or films on free-to-access broadcaster services, more than in all the other comparator countries. Sixteen per cent of respondents in the UK said they would miss catch-up TV more than any other type of programming, if it were not available.
  • TV revenue per capita in the UK was £221 in 2015, the third highest of our comparator countries after Germany (£289) and the US (£351).
  • Just over half of UK television homes received an HD service in 2015 (51%), putting the UK in tenth position among the 18 comparator countries.
  • Declines in viewing to broadcast TV occurred across many countries. The UK experienced a year-on-year decline in viewing to broadcast TV (-1.9%), with people watching an average of 3 hours 36 minutes of TV each day. Within the UK, time-shifted viewing contributed 29 minutes, or 13%, to total daily viewing. This figure, however, was not enough to counter-balance the overall decline in live viewing.
  • DAB coverage is highest in the UK out of all the comparator countries, at 97% population coverage. Take-up of digital radio sets is also highest in the UK, at 33% in 2016.
  • Consumption of news online has grown considerably in recent years. Among UK online users, using the internet as a main source for news has increased since 2015, and it is now more popular than TV for some types of news (such as local news and sports news). More than a third (35%) of online news users in the UK now say they use social media for news, and 8% cite it as their main source. Overall, the UK is middle ranking among other countries in terms of the use of social media as the main source of news.

Source: Ofcom website