Applications Dominate Local Net Use

SYDNEY — Australians spend 25 per cent of their time online at home on software applications rather than on surfing the Web.

The finding, which was reported in Jupiter Media Metrixs latest research into Internet usage from home, shows it is a trend that has been occurring locally for the past few months, and has been triggered by the high profile of some downloadable applications and users increasing realisation that they can expand their computers capabilities by accessing software online.

“Napster has focussed people’s attention on downloads recently,” said Jupiter Media Metrix senior analyst David Stewart-hunter. “But applications like instant messaging have beena major part of online audience activity from the start.”

In January, for instance, the average time spent online being 10 hours 39 minutes, seven hours 55 minutes of which was spent surfing the Web. This amounted to a quarter of an Internet users time at home spent on software applications. In December and February, the other months during which the research was conducted, the proportions between surfing and software were similar.

The so-called ‘stickiest’ sites in February echoed this increasing diversification of users’ online interests. AOL’s Proprietary application, Yahoo! Messenger, ICQ and Napster recorded some of the highest average times per unique user per month, with each attracting these users for more than three hours.

Gaming sites such as the NSW TAB, MSN Gaming Zone and also rated in the top 10 stickiest sites as they encourage the user to stay and play. Jupiter Media Metrix said that other applications such as online share trading were also popular in terms of the length of time users spent at sites such as Comsec and E*Trade.

Because of the recent surge in interest in, and controversy surrounding, its application, Napster broke into the top 10 of Jupiter Media Metrix’s top 25 Digital media properties in Australia. The site, which was previously ranked 13, ranked eight in the table, attracting more than 1.1 million unique visitors from Australia.


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