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Internet Use and TV Watching Tie in Popularity

A study conducted by Forrester Research recently found that households in North America now spend about as much time on the Internet as they do watching TV.  The study is based on survey results gathered between February and March 2010 polling from 42,792 US and Canadian households, ages 18 and older.

CNET’s Lance Whitney shared the results from the Forrester study that “people in the U.S. on average spend around 13 hours a week online, the same amount of time they spend watching TV.”

This, however, does not imply that the average household is spending less time in front of the TV, but rather opting to spend the time previously allocated towards listening to the radio and reading newspapers/magazines, instead to being online.  While all media is either declining or stagnant, the usage of Internet is the only medium still increasing.

While the 18-30 age group adapted earlier to the online world, the 32-44 age group is now seen to also be leaning more towards being online over being in front of the TV.  Much of this can be attributed to the increase in broadband availability across the nation as nearly 2 million households are anticipated to become connected by this year’s end.

Top activities on the Internet for the average US household are not surprisingly e-commerce and social networking.  Online activity is not limited to computer use, but have also extended onto mobile devices, thus opening up the way to becoming the top spot in spending time. 

With this additional medium to accessing the Internet, it will be interesting to see what the figures will show for next year.  Will Internet usage then overtake TV viewing or will Forrester have redefined its study, since streaming TV over the Internet is also possible?

[Source: Forrester via CNET; Image courtesy of unisi]