The French are Europe’s most committed Web users, with the British and the Spanish in joint second place, according to new research. French consumers spend, on average, 13 hours a week online. A third use the internet for more than 16 hours a week.
Overall, European consumers’ internet use rose by 17 per cent in the past year, to an average of ten hours and 15 minutes. In broadband households, nearly a third of people spend more than 16 hours a week online.
The findings have upset the digital industry’s long-held belief that the continent’s most wired consumers live in Scandinavia. Consumers in the Nordic countries were found to spend only ten hours a week online.
The survey – conducted for pan-European trade body the European Interactive Advertising Association (EIAA) – found that while overall media consumption is increasing, internet use is growing faster than any other medium. Over the past year, television use was up by just six per cent, radio by 14 per cent and newspapers by 13 per cent. Magazines experienced a seven per cent decrease in the time spent reading them.
Over 7,000 people were interviewed for the Mediascope Europe Study, conducted by SPA and Synovate.
The study also reveals that European consumers are becoming more sophisticated internet users – 29 per cent download music at least once a month, 13 per cent regularly contribute to online blogging sites, 12 per cent download podcasts at least once a month and ten per cent of European consumers use the internet to make phone calls.