Twice as much time spent on web as on TV

19 Feb 2008

People are spending twice as much time online as they are watching TV, a new study of consumer behaviour by analyst firm IDC has found.

The study found that the average amount of time spent online is 32.7 hours per week, compared with 16.4 hours spent watching TV.

Older consumers were more likely to consume TV, newspapers and magazines than younger consumers who spent more time on the internet. The most frequent online activities are using search engines (84pc of respondents), mapping and navigation services (83pc), personal research (77pc) and using email (76pc), the study found.

“The time spent using the internet will continue to increase at the expense of television and, to a lesser extent, print media,” said Karsten Weide, programme director, digital media and entertainment at IDC.

The types of devices employed to access the internet will continue to diversify, predicted IDC, and internet usage will become more mobile. In addition to desktops, laptops, and mobile phones, a new category of ‘web gadgets’ such as the Amazon Kindle, the Nokia N800, and the Apple iPod touch will use WiFi to access the internet, the firm said.

The survey results were based on a sample of 992 US residents 15 years of age or older who frequently use the internet.

By Niall Byrne