Global Media Intelligence 2020: United Kingdom

Key Features

The UK is an advanced digital market, where ownership of several digital devices has already reached a plateau.

  • More than eight in 10 UK internet users ages 16 to 64 polled in H1 2020 owned a desktop or laptop, and 57.2% owned a tablet, per GlobalWebIndex. Compared with H1 2019, PC ownership declined slightly, while tablet ownership rose.
  • Smartphone penetration climbed to 95.0% in the UK this year, from 92.6% in H1 2019. Interestingly, mobile was the only category in which the time spent figure increased from last year, according to GlobalWebIndex. Internet users in the UK spent an average 2 hours, 29 minutes (2:29) daily engaged with mobile in H1 2020. Yet PCs and tablets still claimed more than an hour more at 3:33.
  • Smart TVs are still growing in popularity. Almost half (49.6%) of UK internet users polled in H1 2020 had such a device, compared with 45.1% in H1 2019. In affluent households, nearly 57% owned a smart TV this year.
  • Smart home items are also gaining traction. Overall, the share of internet users who owned a smart home device—such as a web-enabled system designed to monitor household energy consumption—rose from 16.5% last year to 21.0% in H1 2020. Among respondents at the higher end of the income scale, that figure was 28.5%.
  • At the same time, some devices may be losing momentum, at least among the online population as a whole. Penetration of smart wristbands inched up to just 13.1%, for example—though ownership was higher (16.5%) among female internet users. Only 12.5% of respondents owned a smartwatch, and penetration was no greater than 17.5% in any demographic. Penetration of gaming consoles fell year over year (YoY) from 39.2% to 36.8%.


Karin von Abrams


Anam Baig
Senior Editor
Joanne DiCamillo
Donte Gibson
Chart Editor
Kathleen Hamblin
Chart Editorial Manager
Dana Hill
Director of Production
Erika Huber
Copy Editor
Magenta Ranero
Senior Chart Editor
Hilary Rengert
VP, Research Strategy
Amanda Silvestri
Senior Copy Editor

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