UKOM Data Report: September 2012

01 Nov 2012  |  Niall Johnson 

September brought a record amount of the UK population into the online world, according to data released by online auditor UKOM.

43 million people accessed the internet over the month - this is the biggest digital audience recorded by the measurement company since it launched in January 2010. This hybrid figure (which includes mobile devices) has increased by 5% since April of this year.

The amount of people that went online over the month exclusively via stationary devices (work and home locations) totalled 41.7 million users. September also saw the overall online population bounce back from a slight fall in August.

The top 100 sites were the usual collection of well known media properties (Associated Newspapers was the 21st most visited entity) and popular internet services (Google Maps was at 12, Skype moved up eight places to 22).

The major video on demand outlets also benefited from the brutally sudden end of summer. The ITV Player site increased the amount of visits by 25% month on month, pushing the site up 61 places to 179th, while the BBC iPlayer site increased its audience by 6%.

YouTube, despite the global violence instigated by some controversial content, held a 56% reach of the total UK audience. Subscribers can view the top 100 sites in the Latest Data report.

In September the middle classes remained the largest digital social group, with users graded B accounting for 29% of the online UK population. The second biggest group were users that fell into the C1 grade - the lower middle class made up just under 20%.

Grade E users, which include those who are pensioners, casual workers or welfare dependent, took the smallest piece of the pie with 11%.

The most prominent age group online continued to be those on the older side of the scale. Users aged 50 and older made up 32% of those online, translating in to an audience of 14 million. Further breakdowns can be found in the UKOM Universe Profile report.

Brands

Wikipedia's audience jumped by 1.2 million people over the month (up 7.2%), resulting in the biggest rise in the top 10 brands. The open encyclopaedia reached 42% of the UK's online population, with each user spending an average of 20 minutes on the site.

Google remained in the top spot, as ever, with a unique audience of 37 million people. With a reach of 86% and each user viewing on average 210 pages, it's clear that the search giant well and truly had its online audience held captive. Each visitor to the portal spent 1 hour and 43 minutes inside its domain, with an average of 27 sessions per person.

Despite an overall 4% boost in users, the BBC saw pages viewed per person fall to 82 and the amount of time each person spent on the site fall by 10 minutes. The homepage of the British Broadcasting Corporation remained the 6th overall most visited brand during the month.

Bing saw the biggest actual loss of the top 10. 29.3 million users visited the site in September, down 1.5% month on month although it still netted a 60% reach.

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Current Affairs

September saw The Independent website fall out of the top 10 current events category. The Alexander Lebedev owned site fell 43 places overall and haemorrhaged 21% of users month on month. In its place jumped Newsquest Media Group, a network of local news sites dotted around the country, with 3.3 million users over the month.

It was a mixed bag for the top 10 global sites, with over half of them seeing a loss. The Sun was hit hardest with a 12% fall in audience, down over half a million people. Murdoch's primary British tabloid site overall dropped 12 places, down to the 92nd most visited site.

Once the definitive independent voice of digital news (and now a subsidiary of AOL) the HuffingtonPost site reported a good month. The blog and news aggregator jumped up to the 89th overall position and the eight most visited news site.

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Social Media

Squidoo, part of the Glam Media Network, ousted troubled Myspace from the top 10 social networking sites even though they essentially provide a similar service. Squidoo was launched in 2005 and offers a service that allows users to create their own 'lenses' for subjects of interest. The social community has seen a dramatic year on year jump of 99%, with 1.7 million UK users visiting the site in September.

Micro publishing tool WordPress.com attracted 5.9 million users, resulting in a 14% share. The blog site jumped up eight places over all but remained the fourth most popular social site. LinkedIn saw a bit of a drop in August (not the site to be on during summer holiday, apparently) but had the second biggest rise of the top 10.

Photo blogging site Tumblr saw a 5% drop during the month (although it did double its UK audience YoY), while the nation's overeager twitterati helped Twitter pull in 8 million users in 140 characters or less.

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Further breakdowns and reports can found in the Online database.

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