OPA study: Web users spend nearly half their time visiting content

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New York—Internet users are spending nearly half their online time visiting content, a 37% increase in share of time compared with 2003, according to a study released Monday by the Online Publishers Association (OPA).

The study was based on OPA’s four-year analysis of its Internet Activity Index (IAI), a monthly gauge of the time being spent with e-commerce, communications, content and search.

According to IAI, conducted by Nielsen//NetRatings, consumers now spend 47% of their time with content, compared with 34% four years ago. The 37% gain in share for content was followed by a 35% gain in share for search. However, the total time being spent with search remains relatively low, accounting for just 5% of Internet users’ online time this year, OPA said.

The group found several factors behind the changes, including: a more accessible and much faster Internet that is driving up the overall time spent online; the increased popularity of video; and improvements in search.

—Matthew Schwartz

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