Content surpasses communications in time spent online, says OPA

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New York—The Online Publishers Association announced that for the first time content surpassed communications as the leading Web activity in September, according to the Internet Activity Index, developed in conjunction with Nielsen//NetRatings.

The index tracks Internet usage among four activities: content, communications, commerce and search.

Content was the only category to experience a year-over-year increase in share of time spent online, rising to 41.0% from 34.6% in September 2003. Communications fell to 39.8% from 46.0% in September 2003.

"The increase in share of time spent on Web content in September can be attributed to several factors, including the string of hurricanes we experienced that month, the start of pro football season and the baseball playoffs, the presidential debates and the new fall line ups of the television networks," said Michael Zimbalist, president of the Online Publishers Association, in a statement.

He also said the findings suggest a shift in how consumers are using the Web. "Clearly, it is much more than a tool; it is a primary source of information, entertainment and fun," he said.

—Carol Krol

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