Brits spend one in 12 waking minutes online

More time spent living on the web has been matched by an increased spend from companies on online ads

The average Briton spends one in every 12 waking minute online, racking up around 43 hours of web activity each month. This is almost double the time spent online in 2010, where the monthly average was 22 hours.

This increase has been matched by efforts from the advertising industry to keep us well supplied with ads when browsing the web: companies spent £3.04 billion in the first half of 2013 delivering adverts to mobile devices and PCs.

Averaged across the 46.1 million internet users in the UK, this meant that over the first 6 months of 2013 companies spend £66 per head supplying us with adverts.  

Spending on mobile ads experienced a noticeable boom, up 127% from the first half of 2012 to the first half of 2013 to hit a grand total of £429.2 million.

Analysts suggest that this is due to high numbers of smartphone ownership (over two-thirds of the population or 68 per cent of us has one) and the rise of faster mobile data.

The introduction of 4G networks in the UK has seen the spend on video advertising for mobiles shoot up 1,260%, from £1.7 million in the first half of 2012 to £23.0 million in the first half of 2013.

The research from the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PwC also looked at exactly what online activities attracted consumers most, with entertainment being the largest single draw, accounting for 22 per cent of online activity. This was followed by time spent on social networks and blogs.

Commenting on the findings, Tim Elkington, Director of Research & Strategy at the Internet Advertising Bureau , said: “Nothing illustrates the internet as an entertainment platform better than the fact that over one in five minutes online is accounted for by entertainment, and that advertisers spent almost 1,300% more on mobile video than a year ago.”

“With smartphone penetration crossing the two-thirds landmark and the successful roll out of 4G, 2013 could be the year when advertising spend on mobile crosses the £1 billion threshold,” said Elkington.

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