(via Research Brief)
According to the Online Publishers Association, Internet users are spending nearly half their online time visiting content, a 37% increase in share of time from four years ago. The Internet Activity Index, conducted by Nielsen//NetRatings, shows that communications accounted for 46% of consumers’ time online in 2003. A dramatic shift has taken place since then, with consumers now spending 47% of their time with content and only 33% with communication.
The OPA found a number of other important factors behind the changes, including:
- A more accessible, and much faster, Internet is driving increased overall time spent online.
- The increased popularity of video is leading to more time being spent with online content.
- The improvement in search allows consumers to more easily and quickly find the exact content they are looking for, increasing the likelihood they will engage more deeply with that content.
- The Web simply offers far more content than it did even four years ago, increasing content’s share of time.
- The rise of instant messaging (IM) as a key communications tool has been a factor in communication’s reduction in share of time. IM is a more efficient communications vehicle than email.
What it means: for anyone who doubted the strength of the content tidal wave (professional and user-generated), these numbers leave no doubt. If you are traditional media, make sure your offline content is ready for the web and published there as well. Create also web-specific content and allow users to comment, tag and contribute additional content. And don’t forget that content can be accessed using non-traditional platforms: mobile, Nintendo Wii, etc.