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Ella Sagar 

TikTok's UK online audience bigger than BBC, UKOM reports

TikTok's UK online audience bigger than BBC, UKOM reports

UK audiences spent more minutes in total and average minutes per person on TikTok than BBC online in September 2021, the latest online audience data from UKOM shows.

TikTok was third highest organisation for total minutes and average minutes spent per person for UK online audiences, with people spending an average of 765 minutes each month on the platform.

While the BBC appeared lower on the rankings for total and average time per person spent, the BBC was higher up along with newsbrand Reach for organisations when ordered by audience reach.

BBC Sounds, the radio and podcast player, is not factored into this data.

New audience online viewing habits have been revealed by data from Ipsos iris which is endorsed by UKOM as the industry standard for UK online audience measurement in its UK-focussed report Digital Market Overview for September 2021.

Reach compared to minutes spent

Ipsos iris examined audience reach and time spent divided into organisations, brands and mobile apps providing a top 10 list for each category.

Facebook Sites and Alphabet (Google's parent company) topped the table of organisations when organised by reach, total minutes and average minutes per person in September 2021 (pictured below).

TikTok came third in the top 10 for minutes by organisation with 11,746 total minutes  across the whole month.

Snapchat was in sixth place for online audience minutes with 7,404 total minutes and 621 average minutes per person in the same time period.

These strong positions for the newer social media platforms were echoed in the chart for top 10 mobile apps organised by minutes.

Half of the top 10 brands for audience and time spent were owned by Alphabet or Facebook parent Meta, although TikTok managed to get fourth place for total and average minutes spent on the platform with Snapchat in eighth place ahead of the BBC and Twitter.

The results found that nine of the top 20 organisations with the largest UK online audiences were British companies.

These included the BBC Corporation, Reach Plc, the UK Government, NHS Sites, Mail Metro Media, News UK Sites, Sky, J Sainsbury plc and The Independent and The Evening Standard ranging from 39.2% reach to 77.4%.

However, the top five brands with the largest UK online audiences were owned by American companies Google, Facebook or Amazon.

Google had the highest reach at 99.3% and WhatsApp gained fifth position with 82.4% reach.

Smartphones are the dominant internet device used across all age groups

Ipsos iris found smartphones were the most popular device across age groups (the black bars in the above graph), however this preference was particularly marked for those aged 25 to 64.

Computers came second across all age groups but tablets appeared to steadily grow in popularity up to the 55-64 age group where they nearly caught up with computers.

The base for the research was people aged 15 years or older using PCs, laptops, smartphones or tablets in that given month and did not measure sites or apps running in device background or "out of focus".

Ipsos iris replaced Comscore UKOM's measurement provider in January for UK online audience behaviour and uses a different methodology so comparisons or trends between the two data sets are not recommended.

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