OFCOM takes on JK Rowling

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It’s pretty rare you can say an OFCOM report is a page turner, but The Communications Market 2007 is just that – thanks to some gobsmacking statistics about UK media consumption, some audacious predictions of how our media use is changing, and some wizard diagrams.

In the press today, the Guardian stressed the report’s finding that women (of a certain age) now use the internet more than men, the Independent led on how internet usage is now cannibalising traditional media, the Telegraph focused on the huge increase in web use by ‘silver surfers’, while The Sun was (like me) most astonished by the news that we now spend, on average, 7 hours a day watching TV, listening to the radio, surfing the net and talking on the phone. Seven hours a day (and yes – here I am).

But even outside these headline stories there are masses of stats and statements in this report that show not only how addicted to media we’ve become, but how quickly our use of it is evolving.

Take the stuff about Web 2.0.

Everyday…

542 hours of video are loaded onto YouTube – the equivalent of more than 22 television channels broadcasting continuously

3.74 million photographs are uploaded to Flickr – meaning, that even if you only looked at each photo for a second, it would still take you more than 6 weeks constant viewing to look at one day’s photographs

…and 1,845 new articles appear on Wikipedia – equal to about 22 UK broadsheets worth

Unique audiences to websites like YouTube are now reaching terrestrial TV levels. YouTube has a unique UK user base of 6.5million – although the average user only watches it for three-four minutes a day.

And what about storage (not normally a subject to get the heart racing):

Only 7 years ago a hard disk that could store 80 hours of TV would have cost you £1,500. Now it’ll cost £25.

There’s more, lots more. If you didn’t think we were going through a media revolution before, you will do after you read this. (This last sentence is for the back cover – if OFCOM ever decide to publish the report in paperback).

Written by Martin Moore

August 23rd, 2007 at 12:40 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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