Media, Technology & Telecoms outlook for 2014

Russell FeldmanDirector of Digital, Media and Technology
Dan BrilotLead Director, Media
Shaun AustinDirector, Media
John GilbertLead Director, Technology & Telecoms
December 18, 2013, 10:10 AM GMT+0

YouGov’s researchers have pin-pointed four device-driven trends to look out for in 2014.

The four outlooks cover a diverse range of areas but all are shaped by the increasing prevalence of connected devices and what they will mean for consumers and businesses in the year ahead: 

  • Almost half of households set to have tablets by the end of 2014
  • Established media to stem the flow and grow
  • The year of UltraViolet…if marketers make consumers see the light
  • Businesses to prioritise securing their mobile workforce

Almost half of households set to have tablets by the end of 2014

Russell Feldman, Director in Technology & Telecoms at YouGov: ‘Tablets have truly crossed into the mass market over the past year and in the next twelve months we confidently expect close to 50% of all households in the UK to own one of the devices. Over the course of the past year ownership by household has risen from 22% in February to 32% in November. With manufacturers such as Tesco, Aldi and Argos entering the market with inexpensive tablets in the lead up to Christmas, more than 20 million are likely to have a tablet after the festive and sales period.

‘The next year will see the devices become ubiquitous, with approaching half of households having one in their possession. Tablet sales will come from both new owners entering the market for the first time but also to current owners that are looking to purchase another device. Our most recent research shows that among those who do not own a tablet, a fifth (20%) are in the market to buy one with the majority (84%) looking to purchase one in 2014. Furthermore, 15% of current owners are looking to purchase another tablet and of these 86% expect to get one by the end of 2014. It will soon be the case that people will not think whether they will get a tablet, but when.’

Established media to stem the flow and grow

Dan Brilot, Media Consulting Director at YouGov: ‘The narrative of the past few years has been of the inevitable march of newly created digital brands at the expense of non-digital established media. With seven in ten phone owners (69%) now having smartphones and half (50%) of the UK online population having accessed video on demand services in the last 3 months, established media have seen their income challenged in the face of new ways for audiences to consume content. 2014 is the year we anticipate that this will start to change, with established media brands’ market share growing – particularly in some sub-sectors such as television and news.

‘Even though physical print in the UK is in decline, newspaper brands’ digital imprints are in good health with our research showing that over a third (35%) of UK consumers having used established news brands online (such as The Times and The Guardian) in the last week compared with just a quarter (24%) who used newer online brands, such as Yahoo News and The Huffington Post. Significantly for the next 12 months, readers are increasingly warming to the idea of paying for digital news content. Over the past year the number of UK online consumers having paid for digital news in the previous 12 months increased from 4% to 9%. By giving consumers what they want (and can’t get elsewhere) across a range of devices, established news brands are poised to stage a fightback.’

The year of UltraViolet…if marketers make consumers see the light

Shaun Austin, Director of Media at YouGov: ‘2013 was the year that UltraViolet made inroads into the UK market and 2014 could be the year it breaks into the mainstream. Research we conducted in the second half of the year shows that almost a fifth (19%) of consumers in the UK were aware of the digital rights authentication and cloud-based licensing system that allows people to stream and download content to multiple devices. This is a three per cent increase from the start of the year. However, while a chunk of people have heard about UltraViolet, just 13% of people who are aware of it actually know what it does.

‘Given the proliferation of smart mobile devices the ability to watch your own TV and movies wherever you want, whenever you want is more important than ever before. To this end, our data show that those who already use UltraViolet see its benefits. Over half (55%) of those who have tried it say they are likely to use the service when they next purchase a physical disc and almost three quarters (72%) of those who are very familiar with the system are likely to use the service again. The implications are clear: people who use the service like it and want to use it again. To inspire mass take-up of UltraViolet, retailers, digital content providers and the studios need to back the service and explain its benefits. If they follow Tesco and Blinkbox’s lead then there is potential for the service to become a success. However, further marketing and education are key to this.’

Businesses to prioritise securing their mobile workforce

John Gilbert, Technology & Telecoms Consulting Director at YouGov: ‘In 2013 many companies took steps to mobilise their business. Providing employees with access to mobile devices, tablets and laptops has meant that that organisations could expand internationally quickly, build an always-on working environment and better serve customers. Rather than a perk of the job, mobile working became a tool to bring competitive advantage. Fleets of corporate owned devices diminished, as BYOD became commonplace. With smartphone penetration exceeding 70% and tablet ownership predicted to reach 50% for household access, a turning point has been reached where consumers have more technologically advanced devices than are available in UK workplaces.

‘In 2014, security will be the watchword for British businesses. If the future of IT is mobile, companies must make sure they have the right device management and security policies in place.  In a fast moving business landscape, where corporate data accessed (and created) on mobile devices is growing quickly,  security can’t be ‘retrofitted’ but needs to be right from day one. We anticipate the growth of businesses investing in security software and “mobile device management” (MDM) solutions to address potential security and data vulnerability issues.’