Nielsen: Brits Addicted To Online Poker

    January 16, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

The British are betting. They’re betting a lot, says Nielsen//NetRatings. Measuring British use of online applications, the analytics company credited broadband for the rise of “addictive” activities. Online poker was the application of choice.

Nielsen reports that 83 percent of Britons online now use some kind of online application like MSN Messenger, or AOL Companion. This is the first publication of Nielsen’s “Applications Index,” a ranking of the most popular, most addictive (time spent) and “stickiest” (frequency) Internet applications.

Eighty-three percent translates to 25.3 million Britons using an Internet application in November for an average of 3 hours for the month. The most addictive applications, measured in time spent, were for online poker, followed by media players. Four out of the five most popular apps were media players.

Microsoft is king of the online app in England. MSN Messenger and Windows Media Player were the two most popular apps, the two of them replacing each other for first and second.

Software that allows people to play poker online was considered the most addictive as users spent more time using them than others. Users of Pacific Poker spent on average 10 hours and 17 minutes per month, followed by PokerStars (6 hours, 7 minutes), and party Poker (3 hours, 43 minutes).

File-sharing apps are also popular in England, with BearShare, Soulseek, and BitComet all appearing in the top 10 list.

Nearly 15 million people, or just under half, of the UK Internet population used MSN Messenger in November. iTunes and LimeWire dropped in popularity, and MusicMatch Jukebox dropped out of the top 10 altogether, replaced by AOL Companion.

“As we all know, the increase in bandwidth has had a profound impact on our ability to use the Internet as an entertainment centre and communication resource,” said Alex Burmaster, European Internet Analyst, Nielsen//NetRatings.

“Watching videos, downloading and streaming audio online have become much smoother experiences since the broadband revolution and applications are, obviously, a key beneficiary of this.”

“However, one could argue it is poker that has most effectively harnessed the always-on’ nature of broadband whilst, simultaneously, providing more ammunition for those who campaign against gambling due to its addictive nature.”

Yahoo made the list of “stickiest” applications with Yahoo Widgets, whose users averaged 37 sessions per month. File sharing apps again made a top 10 list for overall stickiness. eMule, BitComet, BearShare and Shareaza Gnutella.


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