The Digital Day


People have more flexibility and choice than ever before when it comes to what, how and when they access media content and use communications services. This is a result of expansion in the range of devices, services and media content now available, and the speed of their adoption.

While Ofcom makes use of a wide range of industry research that allows us to understand how people consume broadcast media and how they use websites, there is little current insight into how people use media and communications services and devices together, and how these form a central part of a consumer’s day.

Our Digital Day research provides a snapshot of people’s media and communications behaviour over a seven-day period, exploring when and how people use services and devices throughout the day, covering both personal and business use, in- and out-of-home use. In this analysis ‘media consumption’ refers not only to viewing and listening, but to all text and voice communications, and the consumption of print media.

In Q1 2016 we conducted an in-depth quantitative diary study into UK adults’ and children’s total media and communications activities to provide an overview of the role of media and communications in people’s lives.

Children's report (November 2016)

This document provides an in-depth study of the findings from the Digital Day 2016 children’s consumer research. It focuses on the data from the children’s quantitative three-day diary study, and includes some comparisons to the adults’ study and Digital Day 2014. The key findings from the main adults’ study were published in August as part of our Communications Market Report 2016.

The research provides a snapshot of media and communications behaviour over a three-day period, exploring when and how children use services and devices throughout the day, covering both personal and study use; in and away from the home

Digital Day 2016: results from the children’s diary study PDF, 1.2 MB

Digital Day 2016 slide pack: children’s diary study PDF, 1.7 MB

Adults' report (August 2016)

The research provides a snapshot of media and communications behaviour over a seven-day period, exploring when and how people use services and devices throughout the day, covering both personal and work/study use; in and away from the home.

Adult participants recorded activity in a paper diary booklet for seven days, and this was transferred on a daily basis using a dedicated website (completed by the respondent or with the help of a telephone interview).

A nationally representative sample of 1,512 adults aged 16+ completed the diary across the UK. A shorter 3-day diary study was also undertaken among 476 children aged 6-15.

The data

The data can be accessed by visiting www.digitaldayresearch.co.uk This interactive site allows you to select pre-built PowerPoint slides, and apply a range of filters to them. It also allows you to download full pre-created chart decks where filters (e.g. adults 16+ or children aged 6-15) have already been applied.

This study was designed to cover similar ground to Ofcom’s Digital Day study conducted in 2010, but with improved methodology in part thanks to developments in data capture and analysis. The study was undertaken to support Ofcom’s regulatory goal to research markets constantly and to remain at the forefront of technological understanding.

Digital Day 2014: Results from the children’s diary study (PDF, 756.0 KB ) 25 Nov 2014
Children's Digital Day data (CSV, 52.5 KB )

Digital Day 2014: Report on the findings among older people (PDF, 786.8 KB ) 28 Jan 2015
Overview of Findings Data (CSV, 1.2 MB )

Digital Day 2014: Overview of findings published in the Communications Market Report 2014

Media Multitasking (PDF, 414.1 KB )

Technical Appendix (PDF, 684.4 KB )

Ofcom commissioned an in-depth quantitative study on UK adults' total media and communications activities to provide an overview of the role of electronic media in peoples lives. The study is part of our media literacy programme of work that we undertake as part of our duty under section 11 of the Communications Act 2003 to promote media literacy.

We were interested in understanding the current media behaviour of younger teenagers alongside the claimed behaviour captured in the main Digital Day survey. Ofcom therefore commissioned a supplementary survey among 12-15 year olds, which followed the same methodology as the main study, albeit simplified.

The Consumer’s Digital Day (PDF, 1.2 MB ) 14 Dec 2010

Full Chart Pack (PDF, 1.8 MB )