The UK is lagging behind developing economies when it comes to smartphone and tablet adoption, research has found.
Users in China, Brazil and Singapore lead the way in consuming digital media and also the willingness to pay for it, according to data released by KPMG.
As smartphones and tablets increase in popularity, consumers are demanding more media experiences and are becoming "digital multitaskers", the research – which questioned more than 9,000 end users across North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America – has claimed.
The digital multitasker is most evident in China, with 60 per cent of respondents claiming they watch TV at the same time as accessing the internet. UK respondents were also multitasking fans, with 45 per cent admitting to doing the two things at once. A total of 39 per cent watch TV while reading newspapers, and 27 per cent watch TV and use social networking sites.
David Elms, head of media at KPMG UK, said: “In emerging, high-growth markets such as China, people are not encumbered with the legacy of PCs and have leapfrogged straight onto portable devices. This creates an amazing set of opportunities for tech and media companies, many of which are struggling to devise models that are profitable and which truly sate consumers’ vast needs for information.”
According to the report, China has the highest rate of smartphone and tablet ownership, followed by Singapore. (78 per cent of Chinese own a smartphone and 51 per cent a tablet; in Singapore 73 per cent of consumers own a smartphone, 41 per cent a tablet).
However, ownership rates for North America and Europe are lower; in the UK for example 28 per cent of consumers own a tablet and 57 per cent a smartphone.
While China, Brazil and Singapore lead in their willingness to pay generally for online content, consumers in North America and Europe show a higher willingness to pay only for access to certain content, such as dating sites and books, and less for news, music and games, for example. Chinese consumers are willing to pay for travel, photography and games.
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