European Internet users' time spent online has surpassed that spent reading newspapers and magazines, new research has claimed.
According to the European Media Consumption Consumer Survey 2006 from Jupiter Research, European Internet users now spend an average of four hours a week online, compared to just two hours in 2003.
The average time spent reading newspapers and magazines is just three hours. This trend has helped drive an increase in overall media consumption to 19 hours per week, up from 15 hours in 2003.
The report found that TV continues to be the most popular with Europeans, who spend three times as much time watching television as going online.
"The fact that internet consumption has passed print consumption is an important landmark for the establishment of the internet in the European media mix," said Mark Mulligan, vice president and research director at Jupiter Research.
"This shift in the balance of power will increasingly shape content distribution strategies, advertising spend allocation and communication strategies in the European arena."
The study found that European media consumption trends are underpinned by two key factors: age and broadband access.
Younger consumers exhibit a propensity to consume media online, whereas older consumers lean more towards traditional print media.
The strong growth of broadband has been key in shaping the media consumption landscape, and broadband users spend more than three times as many hours a week online than dial-up users.
The impact of broadband is also seen at a country level. France, which has the highest rates of broadband household access, also registers the highest average hours spent online whereas Germany ranks lowest on both metrics.
Europeans bin newspapers and turn to the Web
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