Broadband users spend almost half their spare time in a typical weekday online, according to Media-Screen's "Netpop|Play" report.
A copy of the study provided to eMarketer stated that the average broadband user spent an hour and 40 minutes of her typical weekday spare time online. Over half of that time online was devoted to entertainment and communication.
The study also noted a range of users' spare time activities, and found that e-mail and personal Web surfing trumped TV viewing.
Josh Crandall of Media-Screen said that the point of the results was not that broadband users spend more time online, but that online marketing is still underused in proportion to that time.
"Currently, the proportion of advertising resources devoted to the Internet (about 7%, according to ZenithOptimedia) is nominal relative to the value it generates in interest and engagement among fans," said Mr. Crandall. "As more of the population goes online and there are more marketing channels, it will be imperative for the entertainment industry to know how to effectively allocate marketing and advertising dollars."
eMarketer's own estimates for US online ad spending as a percentage of the overall market are based on Internet Advertising Bureau/PricewaterhouseCoopers data, and are similar to the Zenith numbers. One in 10 ad dollars will go online in 2010, up from 6.6% this year.
Broadband users have been spending more time online for years. The "broadband effect" has been credited with increasing time spent online and the range of online activities conducted.
As the 2005 Forrester Research/HeadlightVision "It's a Broadband Life" report noted, "The essence of the Broadband Effect is that when what consumers can do changes, what they will do changes dramatically."
"A variety of data shows that the Web is an equally important entertainment platform for broadband users as it is a communication platform," says eMarketer Senior Analyst Ben Macklin. "This is a broadband phenomenon, and not only are broadband users watching, listening and interacting with online entertainment content, they are actively creating it."