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Neilson: TV Watching On Par With Online Access
March 21st, 2010

The number of US TV watchers that also cruise the internet and USENET is up more than 35 percent from a year ago, according to a new report released Monday. The advertising firm Nielsen Co. said Monday that people who multitask this way spent an average of three and a half hours doing so in December. That’s up sharply from the two hours, 29 minutes that Nielsen reported only six months earlier.

The study reported by media newsgroups says  the number of Americans who “multitask” by watching TV and using the Internet continues to grow by reaching three and a half hours per month in the most recent quarter, with nearly 60% of viewers now using the Internet once a month while also watching TV.

Indeed more consumers watched TV while simultaneously surfing the Web in December ’09 , but these figures shouldn’t really come as a surprise if you take in mind the upward trend in simultaneous media consumption. People did admit to using the Internet around 34% of the time that they were watching television – 14% more than a year ago. These numbers don’t count those who are watching TV on the Internet itself or using to utilize both for the same purpose.  This is some decent news for the TV industry, since the fear is that Internet time is eating into boob tube viewing. Overall, TV viewing is up 1%, year over year, according to the report.

The original fear was that the internet, mobile video, and entertainment would slowly draw viewers away from the TV. However, TV viewership expanded simultaneously with internet usage.

“The rise in simultaneous use of the web and TV gives the viewer a unique on-screen and off-screen relationship with TV programming,” said Nielsen Company media product leader Matt O’Grady. “The initial fear was that Internet and mobile video and entertainment would slowly cannibalize traditional TV viewing, but the steady trend of increased TV viewership alongside expanded simultaneous usage argues something quite different.”

Here are the top 5 website according to Neilson that people are accessing while online:

1. Google
2. Yahoo
3. Facebook
4. MSN or Microsoft Bing
5. YouTube.

Online video consumption is up 16 percent year over year, with close to half (44 percent) of all online video being consumed at the workplace. “Online video is used essentially like DVR and not typically a replacement for watching TV,” notes Nielsen’s semi-annual Three Screen Report, which analyzes TV, internet and mobile video usage. Approximately 44 percent of all online video viewing is happening in the workplace, according to Nielsen, a stat that probably won’t be too surprising for those who follow events like March Madness on Demand, which has been made available live online by CBS Sports.

The use and access to USENET had not been measured in this survey; rather it’s combined with the total amount of time they spend online. With such a great increase in usage, and the ties with other mediums with Usenet, it’s considered that it had a certain impact on the final numbers.


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Study: USENET Newsgroups Does Not Cause Anti-Social Behavior
November 5th, 2009

Officially, you can’t complain that spending your day on USENET is the reason why your anti-social. Researchers at Pew Internet and American Life Project released the results of its recent study that was aimed at determining whether if online could lead to a reduction in the size and diversity of core discussion networks and social networks more broadly.

Result: Using technology has not made us less social.

The national study is the first to explore how people use the USENET and World Wide Web to interact with close family and friends. The project found that both the size and diversity of people’s discussion networks are actually higher on average for those who participate on online social networks, like USENET newsgroups, challenging a 2006 report that blamed technology for an increase in social isolation.

“We find that the extent of social isolation has hardly changed since 1985, contrary to concerns that the prevalence of severe isolation has tripled since then,” Pew researchers report.

Online use does not pull people away from places such as parks, cafes and restaurants, Pew researchers conclude: “Online access has become a common component of people’s experiences within many public spaces.” Also, in opposition to the conclusion that online usage primarily bridges gaps between people who are geographically far from each other, the survey found that there is little difference between local social usage of technology and distant communication.

The findings clearly stand in contrast to the notion that technology “might cause people to retreat from life,” says Lee Rainie, who directs the Pew Internet project. Spending time with online social networks – such as USENET newsgroups, he says, gives people “new powers to extend themselves and extend their interests.”


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