Best Prospects? Local Site Users, Study Says

Internet users who access the Web through local news sites are not only a highly desirable audience for advertisers, they are proven online buyers, according to a new study for The Real Media Network conducted by The Laredo Group Inc.

And these users say their local news sites are doing a comparable or better job than national sites in delivering arts and entertainment, sports and general news, the study found.

The Real Media Network consists of more than 550 locally branded media Web sites that can be aggregated on a regional, national or international level.

The study found that Real Media’s users are male (71%), baby-boomers (60% over age 35), well educated (63% college educated), have high incomes (average $74,900) and make online purchases (72%). For those users in higher income brackets, making online purchases increases (83% of those earning $150,000 or more have bought over the Web). In addition, these users hold executive/managerial/professional jobs, are employed full time and have significant interest in buying travel, financial products, cars and computer equipment.

Nearly half of the users report that they spend less time watching TV (49%) and reading newspapers (47%) as a result of their Internet usage.

The average Real Media Network user is on the Web an average of more than one hour per day (8.8 hours per week). The heaviest users are on the Web an average of 2 hours per day (20% are online 15+ hours per week with one-third of the users spending 11+ hours per week). Only 28% of this usage occurs entirely in the work place. Thirty percent of users access the Web from home only and 42% access the Web equally from work and home.

The Laredo Group recruited respondents from 19 newspaper sites across the Real Media Network. The four-week survey collected responses from 9,786 users of these sites.

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