Real Living 2021

Real people. Real tech. Real life.

Woman using laptop and drinking coffee

Revealing our digital lives

The findings from our newest research study, Real Living 2021, exclusively reveal a changing picture of Brits’ everyday lives. Dive into the report now to discover how consumers are engaging with online media in 2021 as well as what opportunities exist within the digital day to reach audiences across an armory of connected devices and platforms.

For a rundown of the most crucial insights and key takeaways, read our summary and stay relevant in this increasingly competitive market.

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Top takeouts in two minutes

Short on time? Make sure you've got your finger on the pulse of Real Living 2021 with our film covering the headline findings. Perfect to give you and your team an overview of the research.

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Key takeaways for mobile:

Life on the small screen

With a staggering 65% of all digital investment allocated to smartphones, our CMO James Chandler argues why advertisers need to rethink their approach to advertising on the small screen.

Watch the launch of Real Living

Didn’t catch the launch event live? Members can watch back on-demand for analysis from our own Research team, consultancy partner Sparker as well as commentary from IAB UK members.

Specialism Weeks

In addition to our overall look at the changing media day, we hosted four Specialism Weeks throughout the year, revealing sector-specific insights on who is driving growth in these areas, what behaviour looks like and the opportunities for advertisers. Find out more below.

Person purchasing something online

Ecommerce Week

How has the pandemic diversified the ecommerce audience? These Real Living results are a must-read for advertisers looking to evolve their shopping strategies.

Woman gaming via virtual reality headset

Gaming Week

Explore our Real Living findings in relation to gaming. Discover who’s gaming, why they log on and what they think of advertising within the game.

Man listening to headphones

Audio Week

These findings from our Real Living study take a deep dive into the online audio market, looking at listener behaviour and key opportunities for advertisers.

Celebratory woman watching TV

Connected TV Week

The final section of our Real Living 2021 study looks at the CTV ad market, viewer behaviour and how advertisers can meaningfully connect with them.

Man and woman gaming
Initial Research:

Why we brought Real Living back for 2021

In 2015 we launched Real Living, a research project that took us into people’s houses to observe and understand how they were using digital devices in real life. Six years on, there has never been a more significant time to assess the changing media landscape and understand how people’s habits have been either fast-tracked or derailed by the seismic social shifts we’re living through. What better way to get a real-life picture than by bringing back Real Living for 2021?


Real Living 2015

In 2015 we launched Real Living, a research project that took us into people’s houses to observe and understand how they were using digital devices in real life. With the living room as our stage, we studied how people were consuming media during their leisure time, the screens that were competing for their attention and whether the TV was still the dominant focus for entertainment. The results revealed clear shifts in people’s everyday behaviours, as smartphones and tablets emerged as growing contenders for peak-time attention.


Rediscover the joy of digital advertising

Champion connections instead of clicks. Capture audiences' imaginations, not just their attention. Boldly move to your own beat instead of letting tech set the pace. It’s time to rediscover the joy of digital.