426.9m Europeans now online, implications for business and media

31 May 2012

Europeans are more connected than ever and according to new figures from IAB Europe and Mediascope, 65pc of Europeans are now online, equaling some 426.9m people.

Some 426.9m Europeans go online every week (65pc) with 37pc accessing the internet using more than one device. Some 64pc of people access the web via a computer – that’s 415.7m people – and 21pc use the internet on their mobile phones (139.2m).

Using the internet via a computer is most popular in Norway and Switzerland (89pc) and users are most likely to be aged 25-44 (44pc).

Mobile internet users are most likely to be 16-24 years old (30pc) and using the internet via a mobile phone is most popular in the UK, Norway and Sweden, where more than 4 in 10 access the internet via this device.

Time spent on the web differs by the device used – European’s spend a total of 14.8 hours online each week – those using a computer spend 13.3 hours, compared to 9.4 hours amongst those using mobile phones and 9.3 hours for those using tablets.

How Europeans consume their media

Some 91pc of internet users read news online (388.5m) – men are more likely to be consumers of news online than women (93pc versus 89pc) and 35-54-year-olds are the most likely to read news online, at 93pc.

Around 73pc of internet users watch TV online (311.6m) – 16-24-year-olds are the most likely to watch TV online – at 83pc – closely followed by 35-44-year-olds (81pc).

About 67pc of internet users listen to the radio online (286.0m) – this increases to 81pc of 16-24 year-olds and men are more likely than women to listen to the radio online (68pc versus 66pc).

The research shows that a staggering 48pc of Europeans say they use the internet while they watch TV (297.4m) and 16pc of all time spent watching TV in Europe is done while using the internet.

Europe’s heaviest online/TV multitaskers are the Norwegians at 70pc, followed by 68pc of TV watchers in France and 62pc of those watching TV in the UK.

Europe’s online shoppers

Some 96pc of European internet users research online for purchases, 87pc shop online and almost one-fifth (19pc) of all their shopping is done via the internet. In a six-month period, Europeans spent €188bn buying goods and services online – an average of €544 per European online shopper.

Norwegian internet shoppers averaged the highest spend online (€1,162) followed by Swiss (€919) and Danish (€894) online shoppers. UK internet users devote the greatest share of total shopping spend to online (32.0pc) followed by German (25.4pc).

“What we see from the 2012 research is how the internet is being used together with traditional media – consumers aren’t rejecting one media platform over another, rather they are using multiple devices to enjoy a huge variety of media, either with their full attention or shared,” Alison Fennah, vice-president of research and marketing at IAB Europe explained.

“For brands, advertisers and marketers, this information is essential to adapt and grow engagement with our consumers in our media multitasking world,” Fennah said.

Generation Y image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years