Users Spend Half Their Time Visiting Content

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Internet users are spending almost half their time online visiting content, a 37 percent increase in share of time from four years ago, according to the Online Publishers Association (OPA).

The OPA has released a four-year study of its Internet Activity Index (IAI), a monthly guide of the time being spent with ecommerce, communications, content and search.

"When the OPA created the IAI, our goal was to provide a reliable, ongoing measure of the time being spent with key online activities," said OPA president Pam Horan. "For the last four years, the IAI has identified important trends in Web use and added to our understanding of consumer engagement online."

"As seen by Nielsen//NetRatings’ recent introduction of the ‘Total Minutes’ metric, time spent helps to define engagement and serves as a valuable supplement to other key measures."

Communications accounted for 46 percent of users time online in 2003. Consumers now spend 47 percent of their time with content, compared with 34 percent four years ago. The 37 percent gain in share for content is trailed by a 35 percent gain for search. Total time spent with search is still fairly low, accounting for 5 percent of Internet users online time in 2007.

The IAI has identified a very significant and sustained trend in where consumers are spending their online time," Horan said. "The index indicates that, over the last four years, the primary role of the Internet has shifted from communications to content."

 The OPA points out other factors behind the changes in time spent online including faster Internet speeds, the popularity of online video and improvements in search.

Users Spend Half Their Time Visiting Content
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