Users would miss the TV more than the Internet, report shows

Users would miss the TV more than the Internet, report shows

Summary: If you had to give up one of your digital activities, what would you miss the most? Would you miss the Internet, mobile phone or the TV? Without the Internet would we go back to the box and surf TV channels instead?


If you had to give up one of your digital activities, what would you miss the most? Would you miss watching videos or DVDs?  Would you miss playing console or computer games? Or would you miss listening to the radio or using your mobile phone?

But which activity would you miss the most? The Internet or the TV?

One of the questions asked by Ofcom, in its annual report was: 'Which media activity would you miss the most'? Credti: Eileen Brown

Overall, 44 per cent would miss the TV and 17 per cent would miss the Internet (up from 8 per cent in 2005). 12 per cent overall would miss their mobile phone and 10 per cent would miss listening to the radio

For the over 55 age group the answers differ. In this group, 49 per cent say that they would most miss the TV. Only 10 per cent would most miss the Internet and 1 per cent would miss their mobile phones.

For young adults aged between 16 and 24 things change again. 23 per cent say that they would most miss the TV and 26 per cent would miss the Internet. However 28 per cent would miss their mobile phone the most.

Mobile addiction

It is no great surprise that teenagers would miss their mobile phones the most.

98 per cent of younger adults are much more likely to have a mobile phone than have a fixed line. 79 per cent will use their mobiles to send and receive calls instead of using a fixed land line and 32 per cent will use the mobile device to go online and browse the Internet.

The Pew report shows that teens prefer texting over phone calls and e-mail. In 2010 on average, 5 text messages were sent for every person in the UK -- 129 billion text messages in total for the year.

Teens would certainly miss sending text messages if they did not have their mobiles.

Although young adults and teenagers use SMS messaging in place of mobile voice calls, we are using social messaging much more than traditional mobile services. But it is losing revenue for the Telco's.

Ovum's report on the Casualties of social messaging indicates that services used to access social media sites such as Facebook, games and apps cost telecoms operators $13.9 billion in lost revenue in 2011.

The report expects the decline to continue as the popularity of messaging apps grow. Services such as BlackBerry Messaging (BBM) and other apps such as Skype for mobiles will further eat into Telco's revenue streams.

Mobile operators could consider mobile broadband as an alternative source of revenue according to Neha Dharia, consumer analyst at Ovum and author of the report. Dharia said that 'Social messaging has disrupted traditional services and operators'.

From voice to text, to MMS, to data, mobile operators have continually looked at ways to add to their revenue stream by adding new services to their contract.

But would we miss it if it was not there -- or would we go back to our TV and surf channels instead?

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  • Seriously?

    I must be in the minority. I haven't had TV for 2 years and don't miss it at all. In fact I watched it less than 5 hours a week before I pulled the plug.
  • Meh, I hate ZDNet

    Not going to retype everything so I'll just put this.
    Mobile Phone = Internet

    Because we all know mobile phone means smartphone, and a smartphone is a dumbphone without internet.

    Also, only people who don't realize you can get everything on the internet would choose the TV over the internet.
    • Mobile <> Internet, at least not all of the time

      Texting/calling doesn't count as Internet, but counts as Mobile activity, remember.

      What I find interesting, though are:
      -- the fact that we're missing some "media activities". Apparently, 40% of the over-55 category would miss a non-digital media activity. And perhaps surprisingly, roughly 25% (27% for the overall, 23% for the 16-24 category) of non-digital media activities would be missed.
      -- I'd love to know the margin of error on the survey. Sure, mobile "beats" the other digital categories for the 16-24 age group... but with even a 3% margin of error you could have TV surpass mobile (3% margin = 20-26% range for TV, 25-31% range for Mobile, 23-29% range for Internet).
      -- Would also love to know how they differentiated the categories. For example, when I watch [b]Castle[/b], [b]Bones[/b] and [b]The Finder[/b] on Hulu, does that count as TV...or Internet? Same with my Netflix usage: I need the Internet connection to use it, but I watch it on my TV set as opposed to my desktop. Also, is there a distinction between using a particular app on your smartphone, versus using your smartphone in place of a laptop/desktop to perform Internet research or visit/read websites without relying on a specific mobile-optimized app?

      To me, the primary (if perhaps [b]only[/b]) conclusions you can make from the survey are:
      -- in general, people 55 & older prefer watching TV to the other digital media options; and
      -- in general, people between 16 & 24 view Internet, TV & Mobile activities on a nearly-equal footing.
    • Meh, I don't mind ZDNet


    cattle will miss the "idiot box" more, people who actually think would miss the internet more. Especially since many of us get our TV from there anyway :)
    • Right

      Because all of those YouTube videos of people singing karaoke versions of pop songs, LOLCats pictures, & social media posts updating 'friends' about their most recent 'status' are "intellectually stimulating"...
  • Missed a big target

    Unlike Aerowind, I don't hat ZDnet (if so, why do you read it?) but I was put off that my demographic wasn't represented and that they drew conclusions from two peripheral segments. I get that the "Total" supposedly represents All, including my age and demo. However, by ignoring the 26-54 group you're ingorning a huge demo. In an informal survey of my own, my group would rather keep Internet by a large margin. Heck, who can't watch TV on their internet, for heaven sakes!
  • TV = Totally Valueless (for me)

    As one who grew up watching TV, I was surprised when a series of unplanned circumstances lead to my no longer watching TV in 2006 ... and I've never looked back. Between DVD's and the web, I get all I need and without the many annoyances of TV. I realize my preferences aren't for everyone, but I'm certainly NOT one of those folks who missed TV when I let it go.