|E-mail Services and Marketing|
|Search Engines and Searches|
|Total Online Population (000's) in 2012:||245,203
|Percentage of Population Online in 2012:||78.1%|
There were 245,203,319 internet users in the US (representing 78.1% of the population) at mid-year 2012, according to Internet World Stats. (Internet World Stats, December 2012)
Internet usage is ubiquitous in the US, according to an eMarketer report ‘US Internet Users 2013: Solid, Saturated Market for Web, Search and Email'. At 76.9% of the population in 2013, eMarketer estimates that between 2013 and 2017 the number of internet users will average percentage gains just below 2%, equating to less than 20 million new users. (eMarketer, Mach 2013)
Virtually all (98%+) affluent Americans use the internet, according to Ipsos 2011 survey tracking, lifestyles, media habits and spending patterns of affluent Americans. The amount of time spent online rose about 20% to more than 30 hours weekly. Affluent Millenials, defined here as those aged 18 to 29, spend more than 40 hours a week online, essentially a full-time job. (Ipsos Media, October 2011)
The average time spent by US adults with all major media combined increased from about 10.6 hours in 2008 to 11 hours in 2010, according to eMarketer. TV and video (not including online video) captured the lion's share of all media time, about 40% each year. The internet's share of media time increased over the same period, from 21.5% to 23.5%, as did mobile's share, from 5% to 7.5%. The share of time spent with magazines and newspapers fluctuated between 10% and 7.5%, while radio and all other media (video games, movies in theatres and outdoor media) declined.
To account for multitasking, an hour spent watching TV and surfing the internet was counted as 1 hour for TV plus 1 hour for internet use. Also, use of each medium is discrete: Time spent listening to the radio does not include streaming stations from the internet, for example.
In 2010, consumers spent an average of 4 hours and 24 minutes each day watching TV and video, while being online for 2 hours and 35 minutes. Mobile devices received an average of 50 minutes' worth of attention every day; the same amount of time allotted to newspapers and magazines combined. eMarketer expects that time spent with mobile devices will continue to increase, most likely taking time away from print media.
In fact, time spent with mobile devices is rising faster than all other media. In 2010, consumers spent 28.2% more time with mobile devices, which cover all mobile activities on all mobile devices. That gain was even higher than the 21.9% growth in 2009. Time spent on the internet showed moderate but steady gains, at more than 6% each year since 2008. All other major media posted declines: TV and video lost 1.1% in 2010, while magazines and newspapers lost 9.1% each. However, as consumers continue to consume more media every day, those losses are not immediately significant.
Marketers need to pay attention to these trends as they project budgets and develop marketing strategies for the coming year-and years. Mobile devices will claim more and more media time per day, while TV, print and radio will slowly lose ground to digital media. Those trends have been most apparent with print media in recent years, but are now beginning to show up in TV and radio usage as well. (eMarketer, December 2010)
Change is happening within the US internet population on many levels. The average age of internet users is rising in tandem with that of the general population, for example, and racial and ethnic characteristics are more closely mirroring those in the offline population.
221 million people (about 71% of the total population) in the US will be online in 2010, according to eMarketer. Their numbers will continue to grow, reaching 250 million in 2014, more than 77% of the population.
eMarketer believes that in five years, the results of some demographic shifts now taking place will become more evident. Internet users will be older, and many will have lower levels of education and annual income. They will also be more diverse racially and ethnically and expect marketing messages to appeal to them.
US internet users, 2008-2014:
- 2008: 203.2 million (66.8% of the population)
- 2009: 211.7 million (68.9%)
- 2010: 221.0 million (71.2%)
- 2011: 229.2 million (73.2%)
- 2012: 236.9 million (74.9%)
- 2013: 244.1 million (76.5%)
- 2014: 250.7 million (77.8%)
Growth is still occurring among all races and ethnicities of internet users. eMarketer estimates the internet population will increase 13.4% between 2010 and 2014, compared with 3.9% for the general population. Despite their already high internet use, non-Hispanic whites and Asians will see further penetration by 2014, to 81.2% and 81%, respectively. Blacks and Hispanics, while still underrepresented online, will see steady growth in penetration rates, to 72.3% of the black population and 70% of Hispanics. (eMarketer, April 2010)
Trust levels with Web security vary widely among users, with an average US index of 61.5 out of 100, according to the first "Internet Trust Index Report" from Internet infrastructure provider VeriSign.
Users who have been on the Web for longest are most comfortable. Respondents who had been online for at least five years felt more than twice the level of trust as those who had been connected for only six months or less.
US internet users' level of trust in the internet, by experience online, December 2009 (index based on a scale of 0-100 with 100 signifying absolute trust):
- <6 months: 33
- 6 months-1 year: 45
- 1-2 years: 52
- 3-4 years: 59
- 5-7 years: 71
- 8-10 years: 76
- 10+ years: 82
Frequency of usage also played a part in how safe users felt on the Web. Users who log on at least three times a week, who are on average 42 years old, scored a trust level of 80. Infrequent users, who surf less than once weekly and have an average age of 56, indexed at just 24.
Overall, consumers expressed the most concern about conducting financial transactions online, including banking and bill pay. E-mail was a greater concern than online shopping, perhaps because of the wealth of personal data contained in e-mail accounts. And 28% of adults reported being "extremely concerned" about conducting online shopping or selling.
A 2009 study on privacy from Nokia Siemens Networks found that Web users were most concerned about identity theft, with 24% considering that the worst misuse of their online information possible. The misuse of financial information, along with the security of credit card and social security numbers, Internet community passwords and credit history were also critical worries. (eMarketer, March 2010)
Evidence is growing to show that the "digital divide" (the gap between technical haves and have-nots) is narrowing within the black community in the US. Marketers that have put off digital campaigns targeting this demographic group are slipping further behind those that realized the potential this audience presents.
eMarketer estimated that nearly 64% of the black population is online in 2010-an estimate made in early 2010, based on the data then available. That percentage represents 24.2 million blacks.
Since then, the Pew Internet & American Life Project's "Teens and Mobile Phones" report found in April that black teens were more than twice as likely as whites to go online on their mobile phones, at 44% vs. 21%. In May, Edison Research's "Twitter Usage in America: 2010" survey found that African-Americans make up nearly a quarter of the US Twitter population, twice their share of the total US population. In Pew's "Home Broadband 2010" report, released in August, penetration rates were virtually stagnant at about 66% of US adults, compared with 63% in April 2009. However, blacks were a major exception, as their home broadband penetration rate rose 22%-closing to just 11 percentage points within the white population.
comScore data for July shows this audience is young: 56% were between 18 and 44 years of age, and an additional 20.7% were under 18. By contrast, comScore data from January 2010 for all US internet users showed that a similar 21% were between 2 and 17, but only 49.3% were between 18 and 44. (eMarketer, September 2010)
There is no question that the internet is now a mainstream medium. eMarketer estimates the US Internet population will grow to nearly 200 million users in 2009. By 2013, some 221 million people will be online.
US Internet users and penetration, 2008-2013:
- 2008: 192.8 million (63.4% of population)
- 2009: 199.2 million (64.8%)
- 2010: 205.3 million (66.2%)
- 2011: 210.9 million (67.3%)
- 2012: 216.0 million (68.3%)
- 2013: 221.1 million (69.2%)
Nearly 65% of Americans use the Internet today, and by 2013 that figure will rise to nearly 70% of the population. (eMarketer, February 2009)
Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 April 2013 10:39