Britons embrace the web

The Office For National Statistics reports that in 2010, 30.1 million adults in the UK (60 per cent) accessed the Internet every day or almost every day — nearly double the 2006 estimate of 16.5 million.

The number of adults who had never accessed the Internet in 2010 decreased to 9.2 million from 10.2 million in 2009. However, a majority of Britons aged 65 and over (60 per cent) had never accessed the Internet, compared with just 1 per cent of those aged 16 to 24. While 97 per cent of adults educated to degree level had accessed the Internet, only 45 per cent of those without any formal qualifications had done so.

There were 19.2 million U.K. households with an Internet connection in 2010, representing 73 per cent of households. The region with the highest level of access was London, with 83 per cent, the lowest was the North East, with 59 per cent.

Facebook ranked as the fastest growing video property in the U.K. top 10, surging 205 per cent year over year to 43 million videos viewed, while Blinkx was second fastest, growing 204 per cent to nearly 29 million videos viewed. BBC Sites (up 143 per cent), ITV sites (up 134 per cent) and Sky Sites (up 139 per cent) also achieved triple-digit growth rates year-over-year.

“The U.K. online video market continues to soar and is attracting a greater and greater share of Internet users’ attention,” commented Mike Read, SVP and Managing Director, comScore Europe.

“In particular, we’ve seen eyeballs move towards the online channel to watch more long-form, professional video content, such as popular broadcast network TV shows. This trend presents a significant opportunity to advertisers, as comScore research has consistently shown that online video advertising is effective at building brands.”

The online video viewing audience at the sites of the U.K.’s leading TV stations exhibit significantly different skews by age and gender. While the BBC’s video viewing audience tends to be male and spread between the ages of 25 and 54, Channel 4 skews heavily toward the 15-24 year old age group.

Channel 4's site was visited by as many males as females but women watched five more videos (21.7) than male viewers during a month. ITV sites had the least appeal to males and captured the largest proportion of female viewers of all three sites.