Aardvark Confirms ‘Serious’ Internet Use

[SOUTH AFRICA] Usage statistics from Aardvark confirm the recent PriceWaterhouseCooper findings that consumers use the Internet for e-mail and research rather than entertainment.

The 5 country Consumer Technology Survey released end October indicated Internet
trends in America, Australia, UK, France and Germany. The findings from Aardvark’s
November usage statistics show that South Africa is in line with international trends.

According to Chris van Zyl, Marketing Manager at Intekom, the most searched for
words on Aardvark are ‘jobs’ and ‘chat’. The most searched for categories are travel,
jobs, business and health.

Van Zyl attributes the patterns to the fact that it’s end of year: many South Africans
are investigating holiday destinations and it’s the time when many are considering
career or job changes.

The PriceWaterhouseCooper’s study showed that users in the 5 countries surveyed
used the Net for information searching, careers, international travel, chat rooms and
lifestyle issues – matching South African usage patterns- with as few as 2 percent
saying that entertainment was their primary reason for going online.

Broadband access needs to become established before the PC becomes a viable
alternative source of entertainment, truer for South Africa than the countries surveyed.
While downloading music is popular, video files are generally too big to download and
streaming media is poor quality and unsatisfying.

The findings show that the Internet is still primarily being used for the purposes it was
designed for: sourcing information, and communication. As satellite and high-speed
cable access becomes more available, however, the Television and Hi-fi will come
under increasing threat.

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