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Traditional Media Use Stabilizes as Online

  • Posted: Sunday, February 01, 2009
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Miscellaneous

Online shopping and social networking jumped while TV news was flat.

Traditional media usage by Internet users in the US remained largely steady in 2008 after falling in 2007, judging by respondents to a Ketchum and USC Annenberg Strategic Public Relations Center survey conducted in late 2008. For instance, less than two-thirds of respondents said they watched major network TV news, about the same as in 2007 but down from the 71% who said so in 2006.

Traditional media use leveled off while use of shopping and social networking Websites rose sharply, increasing their attraction for marketers. Shopping sites, for example, more than doubled in popularity to be visited by 35% of Internet users in 2008. Ketchum and USC Annenberg also noted 44% of shopping site visitors read consumer reviews and comments, expanding the sites’ influence.

“If you look at sites like Amazon, for instance, and read through the product reviews, what you’ll find is not only are people posting their thoughts via consumer-generated reviews, but they are also responding to each other’s comments,” said Nicholas Scibetta, Ketchum partner, in a statement. “The effect is the creation of pockets of social networks found all over the Web.”

These changes are not a big surprise to those who have been following Internet users and usage. Not only has the number of online consumers continued to rise over time, but the number of hours they spend on the Internet has climbed as well. Harris Interactive said that US Internet users spent an average of 14 hours online per week as of October 2008, which was double the average user’s online time in October 2001. [eMarketer]

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