Jul 28, 2009

Surf's not up

The average time we spend on the Web has plateaued at about 12 hours per week, according to an annual survey, up from less than six hours a week in 2004. Faster Broadband speeds are given partial credit, since people don't have to sit wait as long for pages or videos to load. Researchers also say people are more accustomed to what's on the Web, meaning they are just surfing around but go online to find particular sites.

All of this could be an anomaly, of course, but the researchers seem to think we've hit a high water mark. Also, the survey uses self-reported data, and people do tend to play down how much time they spend on leisure activities, such as watching TV.

Some good news in the report for newspapers and magazines, though:
The report, released Monday, also indicates relative stabilization in other media channels, most notably newspaper and magazine reading.
Then there's this exchange with one of the study's analysts:
Ad Age: Some traditional media have actually shown less decline than what one might think, from the headlines. People reported no change in their TV habits from 2004 to 2009; they reported a 6% drop in magazine reading, although it appeared flat over the past year; and while newspaper reading has dropped 17% since 2004, it appears flat over the past year.

Ms. Rousseau-Anderson: Yes. Many people expected huge drops but as mentioned above, people aren't deserting traditional media and fully jumping to digital yet.

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