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Silver Surfers spend more time on tablets than 15-year-olds’

Research from the IPA shows that the older demographic are spending an increased amount of time on handheld devices.


One of Britain’s largest consumer studies, TouchPoints by the IPA, has revealed an increase in the use of tablets amongst those aged 55+ across Great Britain. In particular, since the previous year use of these devices among this age group has increased by 84% in comparison to an increase of 43% among 15-24 year olds.

The survey, which aims to provide a detailed view of ‘a week in the life’ of a consumer, also found that time spent on a tablet has increased over time across all age groups, and particularly amongst those aged 55+ (an increase on the previous year of 19 mins each day for 55+ vs. 12 mins each day for millennials).  When using their tablets, people spend the most amount of time playing games or consuming media and its usage peaks at 9 am and 9 pm during the week.

The survey also found that those aged 65+ spend as much time on their tablets as those aged between 15 and 20 years of age. Additional insight from the survey includes:

  • Those aged 55+ spend 42mins weekly on average gaming on a tablet and the most popular games are Bejewelled and Farm Heroes Saga
  • 27% of 55+ year olds watch downloaded or streamed TV films and 54% watch catch-up/on-demand TV films on their tablet
  • Over a third of tablet users aged 55+ access a newspaper brand each week this way compared to a quarter of 15-24 year olds
  • While watching TV at peak time those aged 55+ are e-mailing (13%), on social media (15%) and using search (12%)

“Our research has shown that that the tablet market has seen a tremendous growth in particular amongst the older age groups. Advertisers need to pay attention to this trend as this demographic is often rich in terms of time and means and has the ability to influence their peers,” said Lynne Robinson, Research Director at Institute of Practitioners in Advertising at IPA.

About TouchPoints

IPA TouchPoints is a unique, consumer-centric, cross-media dataset produced by the IPA in direct response to the needs of the communications industry. TouchPoints provides context and perspective into how people conduct their daily lives and insights into their media usage.

TouchPoints was first launched in 2006 and October 9th saw the launch of the sixth iteration of the survey. The survey has been copied by many countries around the world, including France, Italy, Denmark, Switzerland and the USA.

Last updated 15/06/2016

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