Internet usage in Ireland went up 5pc on the previous year, with 38pc of Irish adults online in 2004 compared with 33pc in 2003, according to the latest figures from the second Joint National Internet Research report. Websites like Yahoo with 664,00 visitors and Eircom .net with 449,000 visitors top the list of the busiest websites of choice of Irish people.
Approximately 21pc of Irish people, some 656,000 people, use the internet on a weekly basis, with 52pc (338,000) using Yahoo, and 30pc (199,000) visiting Eircom.net. Visitors to these sites are seeking content rather than performing web searches or checking their email.
JNIR’s research involved an offline sample of 2,397 people along with an online sample of 9,317 people. The research was conducted by Dublin-based Monitrack Internet Research and Behaviour & Attitudes Marketing, with the support of the Institute of Advertising Practitioners in Ireland (IAPI) and the Association of Advertisers in Ireland (AAI).
The JNIR research segment has grown from just 11 sites in 2003 to 17 of Ireland’s most visited internet sites.
Esat BT’s ISP sites Ireland On-line and Oceanfree recorded 191,000 weekly visitors and 173,000 visitors respectively; Entertainment.ie recorded 181,000 weekly visitors; newspaper website Ireland.com recorded 169,000 visitors a week, and Thomas Crosbie Media’s news sites IrishExaminer.com and ThePost.ie recorded 52,000 weekly visitors and 32,000 visitors respectively. TicketMaster Ireland recorded 310,000 weekly visitors.
Recruitment websites included Irishjobs.ie with 139,000 visitors a week, RecruitIreland with 116,00 weekly visitors and Monster.ie with 76,000 visitors.
The importance of the Internet as a news resource was apparent from the report with 62pc (733,000) of Internet users saying they look for news and business information online at least once a week.
Commenting on the report, the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources Dermot Ahern TD said: “Apart from very useful indicators as to the vibrancy of the web as a communications and information medium in Ireland, JNIR is designed to give advertisers and media buyers a clear and coherent picture of Irish Internet usage. The publication of this wave of JNIR data places Ireland firmly at the forefront of independently evaluated Internet measurement. The second JNIR report represents the only example of national Internet site measurement in the world.”
By John Kennedy