Brits Online

Brits Online

Sleepless in Cyberia: Brits online

Here’s something that might keep you awake at night. Our latest research indicates we Brits are typically online for a whopping 10 hours a week more than we’re asleep.

According to our data, we spend 57 hours a week online, compared to just 47 spent tucked up in slumberland.

The explosion in popularity of tablets and smartphones, coupled with the rising availability of superfast fixed line and mobile broadband, means it’s easier than ever to be online.

Open all hours

Gaming, social media, HD streaming, emailing or simply trawling through good old fashioned pictures of cats in disguises… there’s always something to do online.

But our research suggests this ‘always on’ mentality is cutting into our sleep and risks turning us into a nation of sleep-deprived zombies.

For some of us, even bagging six or seven hours a night sounds like the stuff of dreams. But what is clear from our poll of 2,000 MoneySuperMarket customers is that many of us are working longer hours thanks to near-universal connectivity.

Nearly a quarter of respondents (24%) admitted having connected devices means they work more hours a day, generally emailing or catching up late at night or first thing in the morning.

Gautam Srivastava, broadband expert at MoneySuperMarket said: “With the surge in popularity of smartphones and tablets plus the widespread availability of superfast broadband, it comes as no surprise that we’re spending more and more time online.

“If you are constantly online, making sure you’re on the right broadband deal for your usage is crucial. For example, those on a limited data package who go over their usage limit could end up paying additional charges, up to £5.30 per 5GB. In this instance, switching to an unlimited package more suited to heavier users will ensure you don’t pay over the odds for out of bundle fees.  

“Comparison tools such as MoneySuperMarket are designed to help find the best broadband deals on the market for your needs.”

Social occasions

Our research uncovered that nearly half (47%) of MoneySuperMarket customers use social media for three or more hours a week, with 10% confessing to 15 or more hours.

Drilling into the data by broadband provider, it seems those posting, tweeting, liking and sharing the most are Post Office broadband customers, with users on average spending just under five hours a week on social media.

Hot on their heels are Sky Broadband customers, who on average spent a chunky four hours and 36 minutes socialising online.

Post Office broadband customers also spent the most time browsing the web, clocking a cool eight hours and 20 minutes of browsing time in an average week. 

And when it comes to shopaholics, the Post Office crowd again come out on top with their customers averaging six hours and 20 minutes on online shopping and auction sites.

Stream of consciousness

One category not dominated by the Post Office was online streaming, with TalkTalk and Sky Broadband customers watching the most on-demand TV.

Both sets of customers watch more than three hours and 20 minutes of streamed content weekly.

Post Office customers, on the other hand, came in last with customers watching just 90 minutes.

What are we doing online? (Hours and minutes)


BT EE Plusnet Post Office Sky TalkTalk Tesco Virgin Media
Browsing 7:46 8:12 8:11 8:20 8:12 7:52 7:41 7:28
Emails (desktop) 3:31 3:18 3:17 4:08 3:06 2:58 2:25 2:54
Emails (tablet /smartphone) 2:38 2:47 1:57 2:11 2:36 2:18 2:15 2:22
Streaming TV 2:44 2:33 2:37 1:34 3:21 3:23 2:25 3:00
Online shopping 2:02 2:31 1:43 2:40 2:22 2:29 2:06 1:53
Auction sites 1:41 1:42 1:04 3:40 1:43 1:47 1:50 1:50
Social media 4:02 4:12 3:18 4:54 4:36 3:34 4:03 4:10
Streaming music 1:38 2:06 1:15 2:45 1:54 1:39 1:50 1:44

Notes to Editors

*Opinium Research carried out an online survey of 2,003 UK adults aged 18+ from 20th to 23rd May 2014. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria.

**Source The Sleep Council

***MoneySuperMarket carried out an online survey of 2,000 customers from 15th September to 15th October 2014.[KM1] 

For further information contact:

Paul Lawler / Kate Murphy

0787 237 9545 / 01244 221978 /

MoneySuperMarket compares (at 19th September 2014)

  • 149 car insurance brands and 98 home insurance brands
  • 11 broadband providers and 22 energy providers   
  • 29 unsecured loan and 4 secured loan providers
  • 58 mortgage lenders and 26 credit card providers
  • 58 savings providers and 42 current account providers.
  • Over 430,000 mobile phone deals

Our customers

We help our customers to save money on all of their household bills by providing a free, easy to use online service so they can compare a wide range of products in one place and find the product most suited to their needs. Our size means we are able to offer our customers exclusive, market-leading deals, including some they can’t even get direct from providers.

Our providers

By having considerable volumes of informed customers actively looking for products and ready to purchase, we offer our providers an efficient and cost effective customer acquisition solution across all of our channels. This enables our providers to target their marketing spend in an effective and completely measurable way.

Our revenue comes predominantly from fees paid to us by product providers when a customer clicks through to their website and actually applies for or purchases a product. It is a success based marketing fee.

Our customer commitment

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Ø  We let you remain in control of your personal data

Ø  We are independent and impartial

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Ø  We strive to always show the most competitive product available Limited is an appointed representative of Financial Group Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA FRN 303190). Financial Group Limited, registered in England No. 3157344. Registered Office: Moneysupermarket House, St. David's Park, Ewloe, CH5 3UZ. Telephone 01244 665700