Half of PC Time Spent Online

Uses for Online Services
Activity Percent of
Households Using
E-mail 85%
Research 78%
Education 71%
General surfing 67%
News 67%
Products/services 58%
Health information 52%
Investment information 49%
Games 48%
Shopping 48%
Includes Internet, WWW, and commercial online services
Source: Odyssey, L.P.

Home PC Usage has surpassed 1 billion hours per week, and 53 percent of that time is being spent online, according to the Homefront study by Odyssey, L.P.

According to the study, total weekly PC use increased by 101 million hours per week between January and July of this year, 74 million of which were accounted for by increases in penetration and usage of online services. The survey also found that PC households are using their PCs more than 20 hours per week on average for personal purposes, and among online households an average of 15 hours per week are spent online.

Online services are competing directly with, and in an increasing number of cases beating, the television for consumers’ attention at home. Odyssey’s data shows that 78 percent of online households report using online services during prime time television viewing hours. Online activities are also posing a threat to the postal service, long distance telephone companies, and print publications, Odyssey found.

The most popular online activities among the online households in the US are sending email, gathering health information, keeping up with the news, and investment-related research.

“Online services provide a cheaper, faster way to communicate and gather information,” said Nick Donatiello, CEO of Odyssey. “In fact, for a growing number of consumers, online services are proving to be a compelling alternative to snail mail, the telephone, and print media.”

The Homefront study is based on random-digit-dial telephone surveys with 2,500 US households.

Weekly PC and Online Usage
(Millions of hours per week households use the device)
January 1998 July 1998 January 1999 July 1999
Total PC Usage 611 734 934 1035
PC Usage* 370 363 460 487
Time Spent Online 241 369 474 548
* not including time spent online
Source: Odyssey, L.P.

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