This is the fifth year that Ofcom has published comparative international data on the communications sector, benchmarking the UK against comparator countries. It aims to provide a statistically-driven international comparative context for the UK communications sector. The report compares the availability, take-up and use of services in the UK and 16 comparator countries although Ofcom focuses on a smaller sub-set of comparator countries for some of the analysis.
Selected Key points: the UK market in context
Global communications sector revenues were largely flat in the year to 2009, growing just 0.3% to £1,113bn. Global telecoms service revenues rose 1% to £878bn in 2009. Global television revenues fell 1% between 2008 and 2009 to £208bn, reflecting falls in advertising. Global radio revenues fell 9% between 2008 and 2009 to £28bn, reflecting falls in advertising revenues
Total UK telecoms, radio and television revenue was £39bn in 2009. The US, Japan and China have the largest communications sector revenues of our comparator countries, at £276bn, £100bn and £70bn respectively, but revenue per head is highest in the US (£899), Australia (£808) and Japan (£790). This compares with the UK at £630 per head.
Global advertising expenditure fell by 13% to £254bn in 2009. TV remained the largest single component, accounting for £97bn of revenues (38% of the total) – a fall of 9% from the previous year. Online was the only growth area, rising by 1% over the same period to £37bn, 15% of the global total. The internet accounted for a larger proportion of advertising spend (27%) in the UK than in any other comparator country.
Consumers appear less likely to have reduced their expenditure on communications than on other goods and services. Our online survey in six countries found that the UK was in line with several other countries, while Germany had the lowest proportion of consumers who had reduced their expenditure on a range of goods and services.
The communications service on which most survey respondents had reduced expenditure over the past 12 months was mobile, where 24% in the UK said they had lowered their expenditure. The country with the highest proportion of mobile users saying they had reduced expenditure was Italy (25%) and the lowest was the US (17%).
Spend on broadband has been generally more resilient than on other communications services. 8% of fixed broadband users in the UK and Germany said they had reduced spending on the service in the previous 12 months, and just 4% in Italy said they had reduced their spend on broadband.
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