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Streaming Services Create A Nation Of ‘Mobile Homes’ With A Rise In Static Smart Device Use

Press release   •   Sep 26, 2014 15:14 BST

- One in eight homes in the UK now use streaming services to watch television
- Tablets and smart phones are now the go-to browsing devices in a third of UK homes
- One in ten 18-24 year olds do not currently own a PC or laptop

A new study released today by Post Office HomePhone and Broadband reveals how the increase of smart phones and tablets for home connectivity, together with the popularity of streaming services, could mean the end of home PC and laptop use as future generations become ever more connected.

The report highlights the steady growth of sites such as Netflix, Cloudload and Google play as well as the growing battle between on-air and online entertainment channels.

Streaming or downloading television programmes ranked as one of the top three most popular uses for broadband at home with one in eight (12 per cent) homes now viewing this media predominantly via online channels. The ‘student generation’ of 18-24 year olds are the most likely to stream this kind of content through their home broadband of any age group (21 per cent).

The study found that nearly a third (29 per cent) of UK households is now using either a smart phone or tablet as their main browsing device at home. However, PCs and Laptops still remain popular for accessing the internet at home (26 per cent and 44 per cent), but not among the younger generations it seems.

Only 15 per cent of 18-24 year olds still use PCs as their main browsing platform compared with two in five (40 per cent) over 55s. In addition, one in ten (10 per cent) 18-24 year olds admit that they don’t own a PC or laptop, a figure that rises to one in eight (12 per cent) among 25-34 year olds.

In comparison, nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of 18-24 year olds choose a smart phone as their browsing device of choice. One in seven (14 per cent) 45-54 year olds now opt for a tablet when browsing at home.

Across the UK, the Welsh cities of Aberystwyth and Swansea have the lowest levels of laptop or PC ownership in the country; with nearly one in six (17 per cent) residents respectively stating that they do not own either device. Homes in Birmingham and Leicester have the highest numbers of tablet users in the UK, both with 19 per cent citing it as their main browsing platform.

Hugh Stacey, Head of Post Office HomePhone and Broadband, comments:

“Streaming and on-demand entertainment services respond to the needs of the time-poor consumer and our report demonstrates how the convenience of these entertainment channels is beginning to dominate the UK’s home browsing activity. While smart phones and tablets provide convenience when accessing the internet away from home, it’s interesting to see that they are now superseding the PC and laptop as the device of choice in nearly of third of households as well.”

The reduction in laptop usage has resulted in several unusual uses for these pieces of technology. Over one in six (16 per cent) claim that they now use their laptop as a coaster, while one in five (19 per cent) say they use their PC webcam as a mirror.


Notes to editors

Research was conducted by One Poll who questioned 2,000 UK working adults between 12.08.14 – 14.08.14.

About Post Office HomePhone and Broadband packages:

Post Office offers HomePhone and Broadband packages, which include free evening and weekend calls to 0845 and 0870 numbers.

Post Office HomePhone:

- Line rental including weekend calls from just £13 a month

Post Office HomePhone and Broadband Essential

- £7.00 per month plus £13 line rental

- 10GB monthly usage

- Inclusive weekend calls to UK landlines, 0845 and 0870 numbers

Post Office HomePhone and Broadband Premium

- £10.00 per month plus £13 line rental

- Unlimited monthly downloads

- Inclusive weekend calls to UK landlines, 0845 and 0870 numbers

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The Post Office (Post Office Limited) has an unrivalled national network of over 11,500 branches across the UK, more than all the high street banks combined, and sits at the heart of communities in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England. The Post Office has made a commitment to maintaining its network of branches at its current size and reach. It provides around 170 different products and services spanning financial services including savings, insurance, loans, mortgages and credit cards; Government services; telephony; foreign currency; travel insurance and mail services.

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