Market Research

2 hours and 51 mins – This is the 'definitive' amount of time Brits spend online per day, claim the IAB and UKOM


By Tony Connelly | Sports Marketing Reporter

September 1, 2015 | 3 min read

The average Briton actively spends nearly three hours online a day across different screens, according to a study designed to act as the official industry standard.

It aims to dispel a lot of the confusion around how much time people are actually spending on the internet with the Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB) and UK Online Measurement Company (UKOM) both hailing 2 hours and 51 mins as the “definitive” measure. The measure, which has been attained using Comscore data, is based on the average time Brits spent online both at home and at work during the first six months of the year.

“There’s a lot of confusion when it comes to the various sources claiming to measure how long people spend on different media,” said the IAB’s chief strategy officer Tim Elkington. “So, we wanted to put a stake in the ground for internet time to remove this misconception and help advertisers understand how much time they realistically have to play with to reach people online. It equates to about 1 in every 6 waking minutes.”

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Internet time is split 1 hour 16 minutes (45 per cent) on PCs and laptops, 1 hour 9 minutes on smartphones (40 per cent) and 26 minutes on tablets (15 per cent). Of all that UK internet time, one in every six minutes across computers, tablets and smartphones is spent on social media, up from 12 per cent two years, according to the study.

Time spent consuming entertainment however has halved from 22.1 per cent to 12.4 per cent while time dedicated to online gaming has doubled in two years to 6 per cent. Together, the three activities of social media, entertainment and gaming account for over one third of what Britons do when they're online.

Unsurprisingly, there are variations on each activity across all platforms. Social media is used twice as much on mobile/tablet- 21.4 per cent- compared to desktop, which takes just 9.8 per cent. Mobile/tablets also see a far greater share of instant messaging and news consumption compared with desktop usage.

However desktop is more than twice as popular - 18.5 per cent compared to 8.3 per cent - for consuming entertainment and used six times more for email.

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