Broadband take-up grows across Scotland but remains much lower in Glasgow
Since our last survey in 2006, broadband take-up in Scotland has risen by 11 percentage points to 53% of homes. This compares to 58% in England, 52% in Northern Ireland and 45% In Wales. However, there was considerable variation across the country; Aberdeen (64%), Dundee, Edinburgh and Highlands & Islands (all 62%) were substantially ahead of the UK average of 57%. But this contrasted with Glasgow where penetration was 32%, constrained by the low ownership of PCs in the city (44%, compared to the Scottish average of 64%) and probably also by low average household incomes. Broadband take-up was higher, at 59%, in Scotland’s rural areas than in urban areas (52%).
Non-ownership of telecommunications services is due to cost and lack of interest
Consumers who do not have fixed-line phones, mobile phones or broadband typically say that this is because they don’t want them or that the cost is too high. Less than 1% of survey respondents said that lack of service availability was a reason for not having a broadband connection.
Use of converged services is high in Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh
Consistent with the high use of broadband in these areas, consumers in Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh are among the most likely to have experimented with a variety of converged communications services.
Almost half of adults in Edinburgh (45%) have watched television or video clips online, compared to the UK average of 30%. Those in Dundee and Edinburgh are more likely than the UK average (20%) to have experience of social networking sites (at 31% and 28% respectively) while those in Aberdeen (31%) and Dundee (34%) are likely to have used their mobile phone to access the internet compared to the UK average of 20%.
Viewers in Scotland are the heaviest TV viewers in the UK…
Viewers in Scotland joined those in the North East of England as the heaviest viewers of tel evision in the UK during 2007 – taking in an average of 4 hours per person per day, significantly higher than the UK-wide average of 3.6 hours. However, viewing levels in Scotland fell by 5% between 2003 and 2007, almost double the 2.7% reduction experienced across the UK as a whole. In contrast to this, Scotland had the lowest level of radio listening in the UK, at an average of 22.9 hours a week, compared to 23.5 in England, 24.4 in Wales and 23.1 in Northern Ireland.
…and are also the most likely to have a pay television service
Fifty-six per cent of individuals in Scotland have pay television at home. This is a higher proportion than anywhere else in the UK and is seven percentage points greater than the UK average figure of 46%.
Commercial radio in Scotland generated the most revenue per head
Scotland ’s commercial market generated more revenue per head than any of the other nations with an average of £8.11 per person in 2007. This reflected the local commercial share of all radio hours, which at 43%, was significantly higher in Scotland than the UK average of 32%.
Key points: converged communications
Three in ten adults in Scotland have watched video content online
Broadcasters operating in Scotland are repackaging regional content for distribution over the internet; the BBC and stv both offer Scotland-focused programmes, and many radio stations offer listen-live functionality over the internet. Thirty per cent of adults in Scotland have used the internet to watch television or video content, with a higher proportion in the cities, apart from Glasgow, where use is significantly lower than in Scotland as a whole.
One in ten adults in Scotland have listened to the radio online…
Eleven per cent of adults in Scotland have used the internet to listen to radio. Use is generally higher in urban areas, and is also above average (16%) in the Highlands and Islands.
…and one in ten have made VoIP telephone calls
Eleven per cent of adults in Scotland have used the internet to make VoIP calls, a similar level to the UK overall (12%). Use is highest in Aberdeen (26%) and lowest in Glasgow, where there is lower than average take-up of the internet.
Few adults in Scotland have accessed mobile internet
Just over one in seven (15%) adults in Scotland have used a mobile phone to access the internet, compared to 20% in the UK. Use is higher in Northern Ireland, and lowest in Scotland. This figure probably reflects the lower than average ownership of 3G phones in Scotland.
11% of adults in Scotland have listened to audio on a mobile handset
Using a mobile phone to listen to audio content (such as radio, MP3 files and podcasts) is less common in Scotland, (11%), than in the rest of the UK (17%).
Aberdeen and Dundee adults watch most video on mobiles
Four per cent of adults in Scotland have used their mobile to watch television or video clips, with 1% having watched live television – the same as the UK overall. Consumers in Aberdeen and Dundee (both at 12%) report particularly high levels of use.
Social networking less popular in Scotland than in the UK overall
Fewer adults use social networking sites in Scotland than in the UK as a whole – 15% compared to 20%. Across Scotland, use is highest in urban centres, with the exception of Glasgow, where it is just 9%. This is unsurprising, given the relatively low broadband penetration in Glasgow.
Over 5,000 Gaelic pages on Wikipedia
Speakers of Gaelic and Ulster Scots can access and edit versions of Wikipedia in their own language. As of January 2008 there were over twice as many articles written in Gaelic as in Ulster Scots, but there were more active Wikipedians editing and adding articles in Ulster Scots.
Key points: television
DTV take-up rising in Scotland
85% of households in Scotland now have digital television, up nearly 10 percentage points since 2006 – both in line with the UK-wide averages.
Access to pay-TV higher in Scotland than the rest of the UK…
Fifty-six per cent of individuals in Scotland had access to pay television in Q1 2008. This represented the highest proportion across the UK, and 7 percentage points higher than the UK average (46%).
…and viewers in Scotland watch more TV than UK average
Viewers in Scotland joined those in the North East of England as the heaviest television viewers in the UK during 2007, at an average 4 hours per person per day; significantly higher than the UK-wide average of 3.6 hours. Average viewing hours fell by 5% between 2003 and 2007, compared to a 2.7% reduction across the UK.
The BBC and stv spent £65m on Scotland-originated output in 2007
The BBC and stv together spent £65m on originated output for viewers in Scotland during 2007, accounting for 20% of BBC/ ITV’s UK-wide spend on nations and regions’ output. This represents a fall of 0.5% in real terms on 2006, against a UK-wide reduction of 3%, and was driven principally by stv’s declining spend on non-news/non-current affairs output for viewers in Scotland, which fell by nearly 30% between 2006 and 2007.
Current affairs output in Scotland has decreased
The level of spend on originated current affairs output for viewers in Scotland fell by 41% (or £2m) in real terms between 2002 and 2007, compared to the UK average reduction of 19%. Spend on news in Scotland fell by 6% (or £1m) over the same period, roughly in line with the UK-wide reduction of 5%.
Out-of-London production quotas met by the BBC, Channel 4 and Five but shortfall by ITV
The BBC Channel 4 and Five each met their out-of London production quotas by value and by volume in 2007. While ITV1 met its 50% volume quota, achieving 53%, the proportion of ITV1 spend outside London in 2007 was 44% - significantly below the 50% minimum. ITV’s failure to meet the value element of its out-of-London quota is a serious matter, and one which is the subject of further consideration by Ofcom with a view to regulatory action.
Key points: radio
Local commercial radio listening highest in Scotland
At 43%, the 2007 share of all local commercial radio hours in Scotland was 11% higher than the UK average of 32%. Radio services are accessed by 88.6% of the Scottish population on a weekly basis, slightly below the UK average of 90.1%. Average listening was 22.9 hours per week per head during 2007, again slightly below the UK average of 23.5. The BBC’s networked and national services account for 44% of all radio listening in Scotland – lower than the UK average of 54%.
BBC Radio Scotland the most popular non-UK-wide radio station
Of the local and nation-based stations in Scotland, the most popular station by five-minute weekly reach is BBC Radio Scotland, with almost a million adults listening on a weekly basis in 2007. Of the commercial stations, Real Radio attracted 789k, followed by Radio Clyde (620k) and Radio Forth (316k). Radio Borders has the highest local area reach, with 55% in the Border area (also covering North Northumberland in England).
Listening to digital radio via DTV and online, higher in Scotland
According to latest research, just over one in five (21%) individuals in Scotland now owns a DAB digital radio set. This was higher than ownership in Northern Ireland (13%) and Wales (14%) and similar to that in England (22%). Listening to radio via digital television was more popular in Scotland, than in the other nations with over a third (36%) having used this feature by 2007. Listening to radio via the internet was also the highest in the UK at almost one in four (24%).
Local commercial revenues highest in Scotland, and fastest growing
The 39 local commercial stations operating in Scotland generated revenues of £56m in 2007; up from £49m in 2006, and equivalent to £11.46 per person; compared to £9.93 per head in 2006. This was the largest revenue increase among the UK nations, and is the highest revenue per head; the UK average is £8.11.
BBC radio spend per head low in Scotland, but high on a per-hour basis
BBC nations/ local radio spend in Scotland totalled £34.6m in 2006/07, equating to around £7.07 per person, and was up by £2.3m (£0.47 per head) on the previous year. Spend per head is lower than in Wales (£10.48) and Northern Ireland (£9.64). On a cost-per-hour basis, however, expenditure was highest in Scotland, with BBC Radio Scotland and Radio nan Gaidheal costing an average £1.16 per listener hour. Comparable spend in Wales and Northern Ireland in 2006/7 was 97p and 55p respectively.
Community radio growing in Scotland
The number of community radio stations in Scotland continued to grow in 2007/08, with 14 community licences awarded over the past year. This took the total number awarded in Scotland to 20, with 11 community stations already broadcasting to local communities in Aberdeen, Cumbernauld, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Govan, Leith, Midlothian and Orkney.
Key points: telecoms
Take-up of telecoms services in Scotland consistent with UK average
Nearly nine in ten adults in Scotland (87%) have access to a fixed-line phone at home, in line with the UK average. Take-up is higher in rural areas (93%) than in urban areas (86%), again consistent with the UK average; rural areas appear to be more reliant on fixed telephony.
Mobile take-up highest in Dundee
Mobile phone take-up was marginally lower in Scotland than the UK average (81% compared to 84%). While there was no overall difference in take-up between urban and rural areas, the level was highest in Dundee (91%) and lowest in the Scottish Borders (70%).
Broadband take-up lowest in Glasgow
Broadband take-up in Scotland is below the UK average (53% compared to 57%). Although it is relatively consistent across geographic areas, the overall urban penetration figure is constrained by low take-up (32%) in Glasgow.
93% of fixed-line customers in Scotland satisfied with service
More than nine in ten (93%) customers in Scotland with a fixed-line are satisfied with their fixed-line service. Levels of ‘very satisfied’ responses vary across the nation, with Dundee and Glasgow having the highest satisfaction levels.
Satisfaction with broadband lower in Edinburgh
Overall satisfaction with broadband service is higher than the UK average, at 92%, and relatively consistent across the country, but it is significantly lower in Edinburgh (73%), where it appears to be related to broadband speeds. Only 39% of broadband users in Edinburgh said they were ‘very satisfied’ with the speed of their connection, compared to an average of 49% across the UK.
Satisfaction with mobile reception varies across Scotland
Overall, satisfaction with mobile reception is higher in Scotland than the UK average, although responses differ by area. Mobile users in the Highlands and Islands are least satisfied with their mobile reception.
67% of households in Scotland connected to an unbundledexchange
Two-thirds (67%) of households in Scotland are connected to an unbundled exchange, the second highest level after England (84%).
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