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Surveys fielded in 2006 show that internet penetration among adults in the U.S. has hit an all-time high. While the percentage of Americans who say they use the internet has continued to fluctuate slightly, our latest survey, fielded February 15 – April 6, 2006 shows that fully 73% of respondents (about 147 million adults) are internet users, up from 66% (about 133 million adults) in our January 2005 survey. And the share of Americans who have broadband connections at home has now reached 42% (about 84 million), up from 29% (about 59 million) in January 2005.”

[Report]

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From the PEW Project…

“By the end of 2005, 50 million Americans got news online on a typical day, a sizable increase since 2002. Much of that growth has been fueled by the rise in home broadband connections over the last four years. For a group of “high-powered” online users – early adopters of home broadband who are the heaviest internet users – the internet is their primary news source on the average day.”

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Justin says that the IPA did an interesting “touchstone” survey with fine-grain detail which found that people watch TV for an average of 4.2 hours a day. That’s 29.4 hours a week, which is almost exactly half of the 58 hours I estimate they have available for leisure activities.

He also intimated that the overall figures (which suggest that viewership is holding up well) may mask important changes in the detail. For example, we have an ageing population with more people in older age groups. Older people in general watch more television. Younger people are watching less.

We also have to be careful to distinguish between (a) watching broadcast TV live and (b) viewing televisual material in a variety of ways (e.g. time-shifted, IPtv, etc)

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Google survey claims that:

Minutes spent online each day in internet-using households: 164
Minutes spent watching TV in internet-using households: 148

Cited in Guardian 13.03.06

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