Business First September 2017 Business First September 2017 - Page 74

The Final Word If you want local media coverage PR Pros have to remember these things about the Northern Ireland media market J O F by Chris Brown, Director, Brown O’Connor Communications ast month Ofcom, the UK’s communications regulator, published its Communications Market Report 2017 for Northern Ireland. This report collates the information and data about how we consume media here, for how long, and via what method. It also sets out a comparative analysis measuring us against the rest of the UK as a reference point. Not only does it make for interesting general reading, it is invaluable for professionals right across the communications disciplines to assist in the formation of opinions. I know I have certainly adapted the advice I give based on the evidence that this report brings forward each year. It can provide a serious amount of market analysis when we don’t always have the time, resource or finance to do so ourselves. L Key Findings • Smartphone ownership continues to rise in Northern Ireland, with more than three­ quarters of adults (76 per cent) now owning one. And 58 per cent of people say the smartphone is their most important device for going online, compared to 42 per cent for the UK as a whole. • This year’s report shows another rise in tablet ownership, with three in five households (62 per cent) now having one. Four out of five homes (79 per cent) have a fixed­line broadband connection, while people in Northern Ireland now spend around 20.3 hours a week online. • Despite the rise in online activity, traditional media remain popular. We spend far more time watching live TV (an average of 3 hours 36 minutes a day) than 72 engaging in any other communications activity. • Radio continues to play an important part in our lives; nine in ten people in Northern Ireland tune in every week. • On average, we listen to more than 20 hours of radio every week. People in Northern Ireland are more likely to tune into local BBC and commercial stations; these stations account for 60 per cent of listening, compared to 36 per cent for the UK as a whole. News and Current Affairs In Northern Ireland in 2016, 72 per cent of adults aged 16 and over said that TV was their main source of UK and world news; this was the highest proportion across all nations and notably higher than the UK average figure (56 per cent). Seven per cent cited websites or apps as their main source of news, lower than the UK average (20 per cent), as was the proportion in Northern Ireland who cited print newspapers as their main source (one per cent vs. eight per cent UK). UTV’s early­evening news bulletin, UTV Live, attracted a 47.2 per cent average share in Northern Ireland between 6pm and 6.30pm. BBC Newsline, attracted a lower average share (29.5 per cent) between 6.30pm and 7pm. This is in line with the BBC early evening news bulletin across the UK as a whole. On average, people spend 20.8 hours listening to the radio in an average week, an increase of about 42 minutes compared to 2016. The amount of time spent listening to any radio in Northern Ireland has increased by more than a million hours in the past year (26.4 million hours vs. 27.4 million hours). Internet The most popular internet activities among adults in Northern Ireland in 2017 were general surfing/ browsing (82 per cent) and sending/ receiving email (72 per cent). These were also reported as having been done the most in the ‘past week’. Online shopping was the next most popular activity (66 per cent), followed by social networking (60 per cent). Around half of internet users in Northern Ireland went online for banking (53 per cent or instant messaging (52 per cent). This information is invaluable for communications professionals as it helps form strategies that need an integrated approach. Evidence contained in this report is very hard to come by, and whilst there are incremental changes in the statistics year on year, it is always beneficial to keep track on the trends. Source: Ofcom Communications Market Report 2017 for Northern Ireland E i R B f Radio A C Eighty­nine per cent of adults in Northern Ireland now listen to the radio, the highest reach in three years. B