Internet Study: Content Up, Communications Down

Internet users are consuming more web content but communicating less, reveals a four-year study by the Online Publishers Association (OPA).

The report, released Aug. 13, states Internet users are spending 47% of their time online reading and watching content, compared with 34% in 2003, representing a 37% increase over four years.

The increase in the time spent on content has been steady; growing 10% from 2003 to 2004, remaining even between 2004 and 2005, growing 13% from 2005 to 2006, and growing 13% from 2006 to 2007.

The organization also found Internet users are spending 33%  of their time online communicating, compared with 46% in 2003, marking a 28% decline over four years.

On the e-commerce side, Web users on average spend 16% of their time shopping online versus 15% in 2003.

Meanwhile, the total time being spent on search remains relatively low, accounting for just 5%, compared to 3% in 2003.

The OPA attributes the major shift from communications to content as a result of several factors:

  • The online transition of traditionally offline activities, such as getting news, finding entertainment information or checking the weather.
    • The popularity of online communities.
      • A faster and more accessible Internet.
        • The popularity of online videos.
          • The improvements in search tools, which are helping online users find relevant content more easily.
            • The significant increase of content available on the Web.
              • The rise of instant messaging, which is more efficient than e-mail and has subsequently led to a reduction in time spent communicating.
            • Whether you agree with or dispute the notion “content is king,” the results from this study fortify the importance of content on the Web.

              It also serves as a reminder that web types can collectively advance the state of the Web and by creating and fostering quality content.

One response to “Internet Study: Content Up, Communications Down”

  1. VidiMonkey says:

    What about blogs and forums, there has to be people creating the content and that’s writing – and it comes from the very same people who also read them. So I disagree that communication is taking a back burner to just content.

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