By the Project for Excellence in Journalism
As the number of people going online continues to grow, how people use the Internet is changing rapidly, as does what they access and how often they visit those sites.
Americans are going online more frequently, spending more time there and relying more on search and links rather than brand-name destinations to navigate the Web. They are also spending more time looking at content and less time e-mailing. Video is becoming more important. And while still a niche activity, mobile access is widely expected to grow, thanks to a revolution that may be led by the Apple i-Phone.
The Web is becoming a more integral part of people’s lives. Eight in 10 Americans 17 and older now say the Internet is a critical source of information — up from 66% in 2006. According to the same survey, more Americans identified the Internet as a more important source of information than television (68%), radio (63%) and newspapers (63%).1
Another survey found that fully a third of Americans now say the Internet is the most essential medium (up from 2 in 10 in 2002), trailing television by only 3 percentage points.2
In 2007, as the number of people going online grew, so did the frequency with which they went there, as well as how much time they spent.
Over all, 75% of adult Americans use the Internet, according to data from the Pew Internet & American Life Project gathered from October 24 to December 2, 2007. That number is up from the 70% during the same time in 2006.
|Design Your Own Chart|
Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project, http://pewinternet.org/
When respondents are asked about more regular use – say, if they went online “yesterday” – there is even more growth. Fully 72% of Internet users said they had been online the day before, up from 65% in 2006, the survey found.
|Design Your Own Chart|
Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project, http://pewinternet.org/
Data from other sources seem to confirm the finding. According to the USC Annenberg Center for the Digital Future, Americans 17 and older said they spent 15.3 hours a week online in 2007, up by more than an hour per week over 2006.3
In a November 2007 Harris Poll, Americans reported spending 11 hours per week online, up from nine the previous year, and eight hours in 2005.4
How many of these Americans are going online specifically for news?
Nearly three-quarters of those who go online have used the medium at some point for news in 2007, a percentage that has not changed over the past five years, although the total the universe of online users has grown during this time.
But, as was the case for more general use, the number going online regularly for news is growing.
In late 2007, more than 7 in 10 Americans (71%) said they went online for news, the same number reported in 2002, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project. But the number who reported going online more regularly has grown considerably. In the October to December survey, 37% went online yesterday for news, up from the 30% who did so at the same time in 2005 and the 26% who did so in 2002. This is the highest number recorded by the Pew Internet project.
Percent of Internet Users
|Design Your Own Chart|
Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project, http://pewinternet.org/
One element of Internet growth is the use of videos, but how much it has grown is less certain.
According to a 2007 study from the Online Publishers Association, 44% of online video users say they watch them on at least a weekly basis — up from 24% a year ago. More frequent use is up as well, according to the study. Eight percent report watching video online daily, up from 5 percent a year ago.
A different study, from Horowitz Associates, a market research company, put that number even higher among high-speed Internet users. It found that 61% of them watched online video content at least once a week, up 36% from 2006.5
Meanwhile, the Pew Internet & American Life Project’s first major report on online video shows as of March 2007, 57% of online adults have used the Internet to watch or download video, and 19% do so on a typical day. For those with broadband connections at home or work, 74% report having watched video online.6
Other research suggests more regular online video consumption could be quite a bit lower.
The Leichtman Research Group, which looked at the general population, found only 4% of all adults over 18 watch video online at home every day, and 14% watch once a week. In comparison, 93% of all adults spend at least an hour a day watching television.7
Whatever the number, the bigger audience bodes well for video on news sites. News videos appear at the top of most-watched lists in several studies.
Research from the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that news was the most popular genre, surpassing comedy, movies and television, music and sports. Thirty-seven percent of adult Internet users report ever having watched online video news. Ten percent said they had done so yesterday.8
Other research also finds news to be the most popular online video category. According to an Online Publishers Association study, 14% of video users said they watched online video news on a daily basis, up from 5 percent a year ago. A third study, from advertising.com, found that news was the leading category (62%), followed by movie trailers (38%) and music videos (36%).9
At the same time, investors increasingly see the medium as a lucrative one. A Dow Jones survey found the amount of venture capital channeled into video-related startups was up 95% in 2007 over 2006, reaching $682 million.10
Who is most likely to watch online news video? Everyone, with the exception of young adults, according to survey research from the Pew Internet & American Life Project in February and March of 2007.
These younger Americans, the 18-to-29-year-old group, preferred comedy (56% vs. the 43% who said they had watched news). But even comedy may qualify as news to some. “Much of the content viewed by young adults, such as clips from The Daily Show or The Colbert Report, blurs the line between news and comedy,” the Pew report argued, referring to two cable television programs on the Comedy Central channel.11
The rise of video viewing brings a significant shift to the possibilities and appeals of the Web, which for many years had remained largely text-based. The newspaper industry, which used the text-based structure to its advantage online, appears to have understood this shift to a more video-based platform. With greater competition online from other news that is video-based, the industry is grappling with what balance to strike, at the same time trying to find the resources and time to train staff in video story-telling (see Newspaper Chapter).
How is video consumption online affecting television viewing? For now, there are conflicting data.
One study found that 32% of frequent YouTube viewers said their time spent watching television is most likely to have taken a hit, and 36% said their YouTube viewing comes at the expense of visiting other Web sites.12 Yet research from advertising.com came to a different conclusion: 80% of Americans said online video usage does not cut into their television viewing.13
The most important change in the Internet in 2007 may not be in the size of the audience per se but the growing recognition of how people are using the medium.
And that may start with the way people arrive at Web sites.
For years, much of the strategy behind major Web sites connected to larger companies, particularly in news, was to lure users to a home page or section front and try to keep them there. The New York Times site, for instance, features its own content, as most other news sites do. Some people have likened it to entering a walled garden.
Even aggregator sites like America Online tried to create a good deal of proprietary content to persuade users to choose it as their Internet provider.
For many, particularly Web sites engaged in producing news, the walled garden connected to long-held and cherished professional principles. Visitors were being directed to content the site could vouch for, usually already vetted. This was core to the concept of brand — the reason for coming: If it’s here, you can bank on it.
The focus was on collecting eyeballs, and any link that sent readers offsite was frowned upon. “A link that went to a competitor’s site was almost treasonous,” as Mark Glaser, the author of MediaShift, a PBS weblog that tracks the Internet, put it.14
But early in online development, a different philosophy emerged. Aggregators such as Yahoo, and later Google, did not produce news but helped users navigate work produced by others. Blogging represented something of a hybrid, a place where individuals offered comments but also passed along news stories and linked visitors to other blogs — news and opinion as a social dialogue. The same was true of social networking sites and viral marketing.
In 2005, Dave Winer, a pioneer blogger who ushered in the development of Really Simple Syndication, or RSS, feeds (explained below), began to see the value of having news sites mimic, at least somewhat, the gateway model.
“Imagine putting your best news, with links to pages with your ads on it, in the right column of a River of News style aggregator with all your competitors’ news on it (and weblogs, of course, thank you),” he said. “Now the readers no longer need to go to your competitors’ home pages. You’ve just given them an incentive to come to you to get news from them.”
The kind of change Winer was talking about was bold, and most news Web sites stuck to what they knew. Even as late as 2007, PEJ found sites largely keeping users inside their own content.15
But we may look back at 2007 as the year that consumers could act more directly on their preferences, rather than being led to them.
In 2004, most users came to a Web site through its home page, Advertising Age reported in April 2007.16 While the magazine offered no hard data for that, it did have some numbers for how things worked now. By 2007, only 43% arrived at Web sites via their front pages, the magazine reported. Instead, nearly 57% report first making contact with a Web site by clicking to a page buried deep inside.
At some sites, the numbers may be higher. The editor of one of the country’s largest newspaper sites told us in a background briefing that fully two-thirds of the traffic to his paper’s site now comes not through the home page but, in effect, through the side door, through aggregators, blog links and other means.
When the New York Times announced in September 2007 it would no longer charge readers for online access to its opinion columnists, an article in the newspaper explained as follows:
“What changed, the Times said, was that many more readers started coming to the site from search engines and links on other sites instead of coming directly to NYtimes.com. These indirect readers, unable to gain access to articles behind the pay wall and less likely to pay subscription fees than the more loyal direct users, were seen as opportunities for more page views and increased advertising revenue.”17
This is a major reason, in turn, that Rupert Murdoch considered for a time eliminating the paid content requirement for the Wall Street Journal online. The paper was thought to be losing more in potential advertising revenue from higher traffic than it was gaining from subscriptions, but Murdoch said in January 2008 that the paper would continue to charge readers for access to much of its Web site. Murdoch, who took control of the paper a month earlier, finally decided to keep the it behind the paid wall, at least for now, company officials said.18
This recognition is changing the way sites are being designed, including in news. “The walled garden is over,” the editor of one of the country’s most popular Web sites privately told us this fall.
Indeed, a PEJ analysis in December 2007 found some local sites, such as the online version of the Cleveland Plain Dealer and several others owned by the Advance/Newhouse Group, one of the top five newspaper companies by daily circulation, were now linking to outside content. But this is not new only for smaller newspapers. The Los Angles Times, the fourth largest newspaper in the country, announced in February of 2008 that it had added the ability to place hyperlinks in its news stories.19
Some leading media sites have gone a step farther, taking much of the work out of updating outside links by using “disaggregation.” CBS.com and Washingtonpost.com, for instance, now embed coding, called widgets, into their pages, that bring in live content – advertising, links or images — from third-party sites without the need for constant monitoring.
Aggregators like Sphere, Technorati and Newsgator also help news sites keep up with the wave of online content that could be helpful links for readers. Technorati, the leader, for instance, tracks 112.8 million blogs and over 250 million pieces of tagged social media.
Once Again, Content is King
This horizontal nature of Web traffic — people moving among sites, hunting and gathering as they please — may also be linked to another growing recognition about how people use the Web.
There was new evidence in 2007 that more Americans were spending time online with content rather than with communication tools, like email.
According to a study by the Online Publishers Association, nearly half (47%) of all time on the Web was devoted to content, up from 34% in 2003. The study also found a significant decrease in time devoted to communication, falling from 46% in 2003 to 33% in 2007.
The study’s authors attributed the trend toward content-driven viewing to four factors that open Web doors wider or save users time:
- Wider availability of the Internet, thanks to higher broadband penetration rates
- The increase in online video viewing
- Improvements in search engine technology that allow users to “more easily and quickly find the exact content they are looking for”
- More Web content being produced
How Internet Users are Spending Time Online
2003 vs. 2007
|Share of Time Online 2003||Share of Time Online 2007||Share of Time Online Change 2003-2007|
Source: Online Publishers Association
What is not clear is whether the extra revenue that could result from consumers spending more time online with content — and news in particular — will be enough to offset sluggish ad revenue growth on older media platforms, such as television and newspapers. The data now suggest that ad spending on the Internet, including news, is growing. However, both growth rates are slowing. ( See Economics Section and Advertising Chapter.)
In this horserace between content and communication, e-mail is still the single most popular activity online. According to data from the Pew Internet & American Life Project conducted in late 2007, 60% of Internet users said they sent and received e-mail, compared to the 37% who received news or the 19% who watched any kind of video.20
And according to Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet project, people are also communicating on social network sites like MySpace and Facebook, activity that is not captured by research organizations.
If the Web is becoming a more horizontal activity, and content is more of a draw, how much of it is moving to cell phones?
In 2007, the evidence suggests online access through mobile phones was still a niche activity. The debut of Apple’s iPhone in June of 2007 may begin to change that. In February 2008, the company projected sales of 10 million iPhones by the end of the year.21 In addition, other technology companies such as Google are developing software and other technology to make it easier to use the Internet over the phone.
These companies, though, have a long way to go. As of March 2007, the latest period for which data are available, more than 60% of U.S. broadband users owned an Internet-enabled mobile device, but just 5% reported using the Internet there, according to research conducted by Media-Screen, a research firm.22
And another study, conducted in July 2007 by Avenue A|Razorfish, a Web design firm that develops applications and layouts, suggests usage of the Internet through cell phones is higher, with 36% using them to check weather, news or sports headlines. Still, 64% said they had never used their phones to do so. Moreover, 76% had not viewed video on their phones.23
For those people who do use their phones online, what news sites do they tend to visit? Data from January of 2007, six months before the release of the iPhone, found it is a mix of traditional news, pure play and sports sites.
For now, the heaviest consumers of mobile video appear to be men and young people, according to research conducted by comScore, a leading online measurement firm. More frequent use over all should rise when and if other demographic groups become more regular users.
“While the use of mobile TV is a growing trend among mobile phone users, its current devotees appear to be the early adopters of new technologies,” said Serge Matta, senior vice president of comScore Telecom Solutions. “As is the case with the majority of technology lifecycles, early adopters include many younger and male consumers. Once the early adopters have had a chance to fully engage with the technology and share their experiences with colleagues, mobile TV is substantially more likely to reach a critical rise in the marketplace.”24
As with using cell phones to access the Internet, podcasting is popular with only a certain few heading into 2008.
The number of Americans who own MP3 players, such as Apple’s iPod, continued to rise. Nearly a third of Americans (30%) over the age of 12 owned an iPod or other MP3 player in 2007, an increase of 8 percentage points over the previous year.25
And there is no shortage of podcasts ready to stream over those phones. According to PodNova, an Internet site to place to find podcasts and videoblogs, there were 90,000 online in 2007.
But only 13% of Americans over 12, or 32 million, have ever listened to podcasts, according to Arbitron.26 And just 1% downloaded a podcast on a typical day, said James Belcher, a senior analyst with eMarketer.27
That does not appear to have affected the inventory for news podcasts.
According to Podcast Alley, an organization that tracks podcast content and trends, there were 36,018 podcasts as of October 2007. Of those, 984 focused on news and politics. And of the top-10 podcasts that Podcast Alley tracked in October, half were on news and politics. (See Radio Chapter.)
Online Audience Metrics: The Web’s Biggest Challenge?
All the changes in online audience viewing habits have made a tough job even tougher – measuring. And, because audience is so closely tied to ad dollars, the perennial lack of a standard method to count viewers is a source of ever-growing frustration, particularly among marketers.
Over the past several years, the big names that once dominated the online metrics industry – notably, comScore and Nielsen//Net Ratings — have been joined by dozens of others, including Google. These new entries into the market offer very different ways to assess online usage that often yield very different traffic figures, even for the same site. In short, there are no standard measurement data for advertisers as there are, for example, for network television.
For some advertisers, the uncertainty of gauging Web traffic may be behind a slowdown in the growth rate of online advertising — from 36% in 2006 to 26% in 2007. When it comes to accurately measuring traffic, the stakes for Web site operators and advertisers are high. Except for a bumpy ride when the dot-com bubble burst in 2000, spending on online advertising has grown robustly each year. And even with a slowdown, the Web generated more than $15 billion in the first nine months alone of 2007, according to the most recent data released by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, a trade association that helps media companies increase their ad revenues. (See Economics Section.)
“You’re hearing measurement as one of the reasons that buyers are not moving even more money online,” said Wenda Harris Millard, president for media at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.
Living Omnimedia and formerly chief sales officer at Yahoo. “It’s hugely frustrating. It’s one of the barriers preventing us from really moving forward.”28
A number of experts believe strong revenue growth will continue only if there is widespread agreement on the accuracy of online traffic measurements.
In its infancy, the Web appealed to many advertisers who presumed that audiences left a measurable footprint when they clicked on an ad. Unlike older media platforms — radio, television and newspapers — advertisers would no longer have to play a guessing game to determine the number of people who saw a particular ad.
Advertisers were attracted to those sites that generated the most traffic, so unique visitors and page views became the vital statistics for media companies and advertisers (unique visitors are the number of people who go to a Web site, and page views are the number of pages seen by visitors). Nielsen Net//Ratings, along with comScore, ruled the scene, allowing marketers to make key business decisions based on the volume of traffic.
But even as advertisers poured money into the Web, some expressed dissatisfaction with how traffic was being measured. And recently these concerns have grown louder.
In April 2007, Randall Rothenberg, president and CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, published an open letter requesting an audit of how comScore and Nielsen//Net Ratings gauged Web traffic.
“We simply cannot let the Internet, the most accountable medium ever invented, fall into the same bad customs that have hindered older media and angered advertisers for decades,” Rothenberg wrote.
Some also wondered whether there were more valuable data — such as how much time a user spends on a site — than visitors or page views.29
These questions have become particularly relevant with the rise of online video consumption. When someone views a video online, as compared to text, there may be a drop in their number of page views but the person’s amount of overall time spent online could increase.
The picture gets even murkier with the increasing popularity of Ajax, a Web technology that updates data automatically without a user having to refresh the page. For example, on Yahoo’s Finance site, stock prices continuously change as their value changes in real time on Wall Street. Because pages using Ajax programming are not continually refreshed, page views decline, failing to take into account the fact that users are spending more time on the site.
For advertisers, these changes create a different, perhaps even more valuable, opportunity to reach consumers because they are engaged with a particular Web site for a longer period of time.
In a move that reflects the continuing evolution of the online metrics industry, Nielsen//Net Ratings announced in the summer of 2007 that it would change the method by which it ranked top Web sites. Now, rather than counting visitors, Nielsen will calculate how much time the average visitor spends on a site.
“The page view was exposed as a flawed metric over the last year and Nielsen clearly listened to customers and tried to get out ahead of things with this new metric,” said Jeff Lanctot, a senior vice president at Avenue A|Razorfish.
Others, however, say this change is only a preliminary move toward establishing a better tracking system. According to Robert Niles, editor of the Online Journalism Review, Nielsen’s announcement is “just a toddler’s step toward the larger goal of cleaning up the mess that is online audience metrics.”
Nielsen and comScore no longer have the playing field to themselves. Criticism of these companies, which employ panel-based methodologies, intensifies. Some critics contend that the panels lack representation from college students, Hispanics and other demographic groups.30
An increasing number of smaller services that track online metrics have emerged recently, although it is difficult to keep count. Among the best known of these services, which generally rely on radically different sampling methodologies, are Alexa, Quantcast and Hitwise.
Hitwise seems to have emerged from this new crop as a significant new force in the industry. Its data are regularly cited in publications such as Broadcasting & Cable, Wired and Forbes.
Hitwise, founded in Australia in 1997 and introduced in the U.S. in 2003, collects its data differently than comScore and Nielsen, which rely on panels of users for their data. They assemble these users by installing software on the participants’ computers to record online behavior. Hitwise, in contrast, collects anonymous data sent directly from Internet Service Providers such as Verizon, Comcast and AOL. Over all, 25 million online users are included in the sample, although some critics contend it is biased toward home users and misses those who surf the Web at work.
Hitwise’s general manager for global research, Bill Tancer, argues that data based on this larger sample size enable his clients to study their customers’ Web behavior on a “granular level.” In addition to the number of visits to a Web site, clients can see precisely their share of the online market and even the sex and age breakdown of their users.
For Barenecessities.com, an online retailer of women’s intimate apparel, the number of monthly unique visitors to its Web page are not the only data it needs. Barnecessities.com uses Hitwise to keep track of how its smaller rivals, not traditionally tracked by the leading measurement companies, are performing online, according to Dan Sackrowitz, vice president for marketing and business development at the company.
Will the online metrics industry mimic the VCR market in the 1970s and 1980s — one clear winner (VHS) and one clear loser (Beta)? For now, it does not appear that will be the case. The rise of these smaller and newer companies that aspire to shake up the world of Web metrics may be a welcome development for advertisers and businesses long searching for more than one option, but several metrics could all continue to thrive and compete, offering a more complete picture.
“Web publishing is complex and fast changing,” said Katie King, lead digital strategist at Marsteller Interactive’s office in Washington, D.C. “The most successful players are always tracking new ways to analyze what they do. Even though it is challenging for all of us to keep up with the pace of change, I believe having lots of tracking tools is an advantage, and gives me a richer source of information.”
In September 2007, the number of Americans going online through a high-speed connection reached a majority of users for the first time. By December, the Pew Internet project found that 54% of all online adults had a high-speed connection at home, up from 45% the same month in 2006.31
Percent of Internet users
|Design Your Own Chart|
Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project, http://pewinternet.org/
Other data also suggest that access to high-speed Internet connections is growing robustly in the United States.
According to the data published by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the number of high-speed connections in 2006 increased 61%. By December 2006, there were 82.5 million high-speed lines, an increase of 31.3 million from the same time in 2005. In 2005, the number grew 37%.
Since 2000, the number of high-speed lines has increased 1,122%, according to FCC data.
A substantial majority of high-speed lines, or broadband, are hooked up either through a cable modem or digital subscriber line (DSL), which transmits over telephone wires. According to the FCC, nearly 70% of all high-speed lines fall into one of these two categories.32 Other studies suggest their share may even be higher.
What accounts for their recent growth?
“The most significant factor here is the aggressive push by phone companies to offer affordable DSL plans that competed with cable company offerings,” Lee Rainie, the director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project, told us. “This prompted some cable operators to drop prices, too. Both sides ramped up their marketing dramatically. Another factor at work was that more and more people were drawn to the greater amount of content and activities they could do online.”
Broadband users view more Web pages, including news pages and online video clips, than those who connect to the Internet on a dial-up connection, research from Pew Internet shows. Broadband access provides more opportunities for telecommuting, long-distance education and online health care services not readily available in rural areas, for instance. In response, there has been growing pressure for a more aggressive public policy to expand broadband lines.
To support their push for a more active government role, advocates point to international data showing the United States trailing other industrialized countries in the total number of high-speed lines. According to June 2007 data from the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development, the U.S. currently is ranked 15th in the number of high-speed subscribers per 100 inhabitants.33
1. “Annual Internet Survey by the Center for the Digital Future Finds Shifting Trends Among Adults About the Benefits and Consequences of Children Going Online,” USC Center for Digital Future, January 17, 2008.
2. “Internet Usage and Importance Expand,” eMarketer, July 2, 2007.
3. “Annual Internet Survey by the Center for the Digital Future Finds Shifting Trends Among Adults About the Benefits and Consequences of Children Going Online,” USC Center for Digital Future, January 17, 2008.
4. “Four in Five of All U.S. Adults — An Estimated 178 Million — Go Online,” the Harris Poll, November 5, 2007.
5. “Study Tracks Broadband Video Consumption on Multiple Platforms; Six in Ten Internet Users Watch Online Video Content Weekly, Up 36% From Last Year,” Horowitz Associates news release, December 4, 2007.
6. “Online Video,” Pew Internet & American Life Project, July 25, 2007.
7. Jack Loechner, “Men 18 to 34 Years Old Are Key Online Video Viewers,” Center for Media Research, February 27, 2007.
8. “Online Video,” Pew Internet & American Life Project, July 25, 2007.
9. “Bi-Annual Online Video Study: First-Half 2007 vs. Second-Half 2006,” Advertising.com, 2007.
10. Richard Waters and Kevin Allison, “Video sites spark fears of bubble,” Financial Times, April 30, 2007.
11. The same study also found that news video viewing in particular was higher among men than women, as well as those with higher levels of income and education. Mary Madden, “Online Video,” Pew Internet & American Life Project, July 25, 2007.
12. “One-Third of Frequent YouTube Users Are Watching Less TV to Watch Videos Online,” Harris Interactive press release, January 29, 2007.
13. “Online Video: Consumers Prefer News Clips, Shorter Ads,” Advertising.com press release, August 28, 2007.
14. Mark Glaser, “News Sites Loosen Linking Policies,” Online Journalism Review, September 17, 2003.
15. PEJ’s research found that more than half the sites it studied did not contain links to additional information, either on their own site or from another place. “Digital Journalism: A Topography of News Websites,” The State of the News Media 2007, March 12, 2007: http://stateofthenewsmedia.org/2007/narrative_digital_findings.asp?cat=2&media=2
16. Data were presented by Marketspace’s chairman, Jeffrey Rayport, who presented the findings to a gathering of online publishers in London in March 2007, according to the magazine. Abbey Klaassen, “Economics 101: Web Giants Rule ‘Democratized’ Medium,” Advertising Age, April 8, 2007.
17. Richard Pérez-Peña, “Times to End Charges on Web Site,” New York Times, September 18, 2007.
18. Richard Pérez-Peña, “Wall St. Journal to Continue Its Charges for Web Content,” New York Times, January 25, 2008.
19. Richard Perez-Pena, “For Publishers in Los Angeles, Cuts and Worse,” New York Times, February 19, 2008
20. The video number comes from Pew Internet’s February-March 2007 survey.
21. Scott Hillis, “Apple affirms iPhone target,” Reuters, February 27, 2008
22. The authors of the study, conducted by Media-Screen, found that the top mobile Internet activities are: sending e-mail (47%), playing games (27%), reading the news (16%), and watching television programs (13%). “Media-Screen Finds Mobile Internet Still Has Long Road to Mass Adoption,” Media-Screen press release, March 19, 2007.
23. Tameka Kee, “Connected Consumers Love Web 2.0. But Not on Mobile,” MediaPost, October 3, 2007.
24. comScore Study Reveals That Mobile TV Currently Most Popular Among Males and Younger Age Segments,” comScore press release, April 23, 2007.
25. “The Infinite Dial 2007: Radio’s Digital Platforms,” Arbitron and Edison Media Research, April 19, 2007.
26. Arbitron, “The Infinite Dial 2007: Radio’s Digital Platforms,” April 19, 2007.
27. “Podvertising,” eMarketer, February 23, 2007.
28. Louise Story, “How Many Site Hits? Depends Who’s Counting,” New York Times, October 22, 2007.
29. Even the difference between unique visitors and page views can greatly impact traffic figures and thereby revenue. As Ari Rosenberg, a media sales consultant, sees it, using unique visitors instead of page views would decrease advertising expenditures online because each unique visitor normally goes to multiple pages on a site. In other words, the totals for unique visitors are usually lower than the totals for page views. The sites that fare better here are portals or search engines, with very large numbers of unique visitors who do not go deep into the site. According to Rosenberg, “The big fellas who have amassed the largest number of uniques will win out. Only the big guys have enough unique visitors to sell this way and not lose their shirts. Yahoo, at a reported 100 million uniques, looks like a magazine on steroids, making more mature content brands like Newsweek — which is considered a mass reach vehicle in print — appear paltry online, with a reported 8.5 million uniques.” Online Publishing Insider, March 29, 2007.
30. In December 2007, one of Spain’s largest media companies, Prisa, sued Nielsen Online over the number of unique visitors that Nielsen reported for Prisa’s flagship media property, the newspaper El País. Cf. “Print Bits: El País Sues Nielsen; Telegraph Gains, Guardian Falls in November,” Paidcontent: UK, December 21, 2007.
31. Data provided to the Project for Excellence in Journalism by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.
32. Broadband, according to the FCC, includes the following high-speed transmission technologies: DSL, cable modem, fiber, wireless, satellite, and broadband over power lines (BPL).
33. “OECD Broadband Statistics to June 2007,” OECD.org, February 20, 2008.