Ofcom, the UK regulator of all communications services (e.g. TV, radio, film etc.) has recently published a report on tablet ownership and usage in UK households and the results, while unsurprising to those accustomed to monitoring the trends of mobile device usage, give some perspective of just how much has changed in the five years since the iPad was launched.
Firstly, there’s the extent to which children have access to not just a shared tablet, but a tablet of their own. Ofcom’s survey of UK households revealed that over one third of UK children aged 5-15 have their own tablet. Tablets are now a part of children’s lives to the same degree desktop computers were in the mid 1990s.
Secondly and more broadly, over 50% of all UK homes now own a tablet device of some kind and a further 21% of all UK households who do not currently own a tablet plan to buy one over the next 12 months. This puts the UK at the forefront of tablet adoption rates around the world, alongside the US market, which showed a similar “over 50%” adoption rate back in 2014.
The biggest takeaway of all of this data is a fairly simple one: Tablets are now a permanent fixture in the “device ecosystem” of modern households. Moreover, children will undoubtedly become accustomed to them in a way their parents, despite heavy usage, will not, because of growing up with them.
Publishers and content creators of all kinds would be well advised to take this change in content consumption patterns into account, how that crucial 5-15 demographic are consuming video and written content will be key to winning them over in the future.
Here’s a link to the Ofcom study.