RealTime IT News

Globally Speaking, It's Still a Man's World Online

Although women Web surfers in the U.S. have achieved better-than-parity with the men, it remains a man's world online in many nations around the globe, says a new audience report.

In fact, the demographic split in overseas surfing remains heavily weighted towards males in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore and the United Kingdom, according to Web measurement service Nielsen//NetRatings.

In contrast, the U.S. Internet audience is slightly weighted towards females, who represented 50.8 percent of the activity in May, while males represented 49.2 percent of the overall audience.

The widest split was seen in the UK, where 60.9 percent of the May audience was male and 39.1 percent was female, and in Singapore, where 57.6 percent of the audience was male and 42.4 percent was female.

Males across all markets also spent between two and three hours longer than females surfing in May, Nielsen//NetRatings reported.

In Australia, 54.87 percent of the Internet audience in May was male, while 45.13 percent was female. In New Zealand the figures were 52.33 percent versus 47.67 percent. In Ireland the figures were 55.20 percent as opposed to 44.80 percent.

"The demographic split in the Internet audience in the U.S. has evened out over the past 18 months," said Sean Kaldor, vice president of e-commerce at NetRatings. "The female audience in the U.S. is primarily visiting shopping sites, such as jcpenney.com, and spiegel.com, home sites, such as hgtv.com, or general interest sites like oprah.com.

Overseas, the female audience is still primarily visiting portals like ninemsn.com.au in Australia, or msn.com in New Zealand, Ireland and the UK. Marketers looking to target female audiences can interpret this activity to mean that females outside the U.S. are still searching for sites they can visit and re-visit for information pertinent to their daily lives."

Kaldor also said that that in general, U.S. home users are narrowing their preferred Web sites while non-U.S. home users remain open to more offerings.

"Americans visited an average of only 10 sites in the past month," he said. "By contrast, even though other nations consistently spent less time online, they visited up to twice as many sites. For example, Internet users in the UK went to 16 sites while New Zealanders hit a whopping 19 sites. In countries where dominant market leaders have yet to evolve, consumers still practice window shopping on a much more pervasive basis than in the U.S."