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Media multi-tasking common in UK

Monday August 5th 2013

A report by Ofcom shows the soaring popularity of smartphones and tablets has led to a culture of media multi-tasking.

More than twice as many Britons own tablets than this time last year, with at least one device in 24% of homes compared with 11% in 2012. Two in three tablet owners use it every day, while 19 in 20 use it every week. Over half of adults have a smartphone, up from 27% in 2011.

The increasing use of tablets is largely behind the use of two screens as people stay in their living room, the study shows. Almost three in five tablet owners use their device to view audiovisual content, with half doing so in the front room.

In addition, almost a quarter of tablet users watch something on their device while there is something else on in the same room. They do this all or the majority of the time. Three in five of those who watch content on their tablet do so in their bedroom, while just over one in 10 choose the bathroom. A fifth of young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 like to do this.

More than seven in 10 children use their tablet to play games, with 44% preferring to watch short video clips. Two in five can usually be found browsing the internet on theirs, while 37% watch TV programmes or films. Almost three in 10 children use the device for school work, according to their parents.

Copyright Press Association 2013