What are the most popular pastimes on the Internet? The UK boasts one of the highest Internet penetration rates in the world, with well over 90% of the population (62.86 million monthly users) regularly accessing the World Wide Web. As the Internet has evolved, of course, it has grown to include a much larger selection of pages and resources, enabling users to pursue a broader range of pastimes and hobbies in the process.
From accessing the best real money online casinos to bingeing Netflix content on-demand, there is a myriad of ways in which you can use the Internet to relax and unwind. These include:
1. Access online casinos and sports betting online
There’s no doubt that gambling has been completely reinvented in the digital age, with classic disciplines such as video slots and blackjack having been reimagined online. To this end, the online gambling market has grown to achieve a cumulative value of $61.5 billion by the end of 2021. What’s more, it has a revenue forecast of $114.4 billion for the year 2028, with the market set to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10.9% over the course of the next six years.
But what’s behind this growth? Well, figures from the UK suggest that the average gambler wagers barely £133 per annum, suggesting that recent growth has been inspired by the online market’s ability to target a larger number of more casual players. It has achieved this by reimagining and diversifying the range of games available to players. No single vertical embodies this better than online slots, which are highly popular among casual players and account for nearly 70% of the total online GGY on these shores.
Online slots are incredibly creative and often blur the lines of popular culture, with themed titles based on iconic movies, characters, comics, and television shows. This ensures that slots reach out to a much broader range of players, who can seamlessly access content through their desktop and mobile devices.
In fact, the advent of mobile gambling platforms (in the form of both responsive mobile sites and native apps) has even made it possible to access online casino games anytime and anywhere, making it the ideal pastime for passing the hours during the daily commute to and from work.
2. Catch up and interact through social media as a pastime
While social media is a much more recent invention than the Internet itself, it also reaches an incredibly large number of users in the UK and around the world. Currently, there are more than 53 million active social media users in the UK, with this equating to an impressive 77.9% of the total population. What’s more, 98% of UK users access social media through their mobile devices, making this a popular and convenient hobby that has changed how we consume news and interact with each other.
The average user spends some 110 minutes on social media each and every day too, so it’s clearly an incredibly popular way of passing the time, whether you’re unwinding in the evening and before bed or embarking on the aforementioned work commute. Of course, social media is also a diverse vertical with plenty of different sites and channels, so it has also emerged as a viable source of entertainment (in addition to providing news and opinion), From YouTube channels that stream live gaming content to Twitter Q&As, social media is now a multi-faceted entertainment space that appeals to a huge range of people and demographics.
3. Stream your favorite Netflix shows
Who doesn’t like to binge some shows as a pastime? While streaming channels like Netflix always had the potential to increase convenience and lower your cable bills, few could have imagined their impact on how we consume content and entertain ourselves. Quite aside from ending video and DVD hire businesses like Blockbusters and Love Film, the emergence of Netflix and other online streaming platforms have also popularised the consumption of on-demand content and fundamentally changed how we watch TV. Some companies, such as Apple, have even shown signs of integrating VR into their streaming services.
According to the recent figures from Q4, 2021, Nextflix now has an estimated 222 million global paid subscriptions, with this number up by more than 18 million from the same period in 2020. This is quite an achievement, particularly considering how many people flocked to streaming sites during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
The beauty of Netflix is the sheer range of the content available, while its accessibility and convenience mean that you can watch it anytime and on an array of devices so long as you have a viable internet connection.
Photo credit: The feature image has been done by Vantage.