Europeans spend 20% of their media time on the internet

The internet now represents 20% of European’s media
consumption, above magazines (8%) and newspapers (11%) but
below radio (30%) and TV (35%), according to the European
Interactive Advertising Association.

A study undertaken by research agency Millward Brown
for the European Interactive Advertising Association
(EIAA) has revealed a sharp increase in the time
Europeans spend online relative to watching TV, listening
to radio and reading newspapers.

According to the survey, the internet now accounts for
20% of European’s media consumption, up from 10% in
December 2003. Almost half of all Europeans are now using
the internet with penetration rates ranging from 74%
(Sweden) to 34% (Spain).

At 35%, TV continues to represent the lion’s share
of the average European’s media consumption, followed
by radio (30%), the internet (20%), newspapers (11%) and
magazines (8%). 

However, this does not mean traditional sources
of information are
being abandoned. Sixty-one per cent said
they regularly visit news sites and 37% said they read
newspapers online.

Respondents also generally perceived the internet as a
more pro-active media. Sixty-one per
cent viewed it as a medium to “keep you ahead
of the game” and half cited the internet as their
favourite source of information. Seventy per
cent rated the internet as “the best place to
get what you want when you want it” and 80%
described it as the “best time-efficient
medium”.

These results compare with a separate study by the
Online Publishers Association (OPA) in New York which
showed that, for the first time in the US, content such
as information services or entertainment became “the
leading online activity as measured by share of time
spent online”. Content surpassed other online
activities such as communications, commerce and
search. 

"We are witnessing a shift in how consumers are
using the Web as broadband households continue to grow.
Clearly, it is much more than a tool; it is a primary
source of information, entertainment and fun," said
Michael Zimbalist, President of the Online Publishers
Association. 

"With overall consumption and frequency of use
increasing year-on-year, [the internet] must now be
viewed as an essential part of the marketing mix,"
said Nigel Morris, President of Carat Interactive
Worldwide.

"The internet is now a rival to other media and
with 'always on' and mobile technologies
emerging, we can only expect this trend to
continue," said Michael Kleindl, Chairman of the
EIAA.

The study was undertaken via phone interviews with
7,000 respondents in the UK, Germany, France, Spain,
Italy and the Nordic countries between September and
October 2004. Five hundred were interviewed in both
Belgium and the Netherlands. The study was designed to
quantify how people allocate their time across media in
Europe and to gauge consumer perceptions of the internet
and the role it plays within their media selection.

The EIAA is a pan-European trade organisation for
sellers of interactive media. Members are currently
AdLINK Internet Media AG, AOL Europe, LYCOS Europe, MSN
International, Tiscali, T-Online International and Yahoo!
Europe.

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