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U.S. Women Net Surfers on the Increase

Nielsen/ Netratings Review of 1999 Internet Activity Shows Universe Expands 22.7%

Auckland, 2 February 2000: More women surfers in the U.S. rode the Internet wave during 1999 than ever before, according to the annual review of Internet activity from Nielsen//NetRatings, the Internet measurement service from ACNielsen

The state of the U.S. Internet market for 1999 review showed the total Internet universe (those who had access from home, but did not necessarily go online) increased from 97 to 119 million users from February to December, a 22.7 percent increase. People spent more time surfing the Internet; the Internet gender gap narrowed with more women jumping online; the top advertising domains grabbed an even larger share of Internet advertising; and Q4 1999 proved to be hot for e-tailers.

The gender gap is leveling out on the Internet, according to Nielsen//NetRatings. In February, women accounted for 47 percent of all active users with men holding a 53 percent audience share. By December the gap had equalised to a 50:50 audience profile.

This trend echoes local NetWatch research that shows usage amongst New Zealand females over 10 years old has increased 45 percent in the last year. However, females are still 11 percent less likely to use the Internet than average. Of those people using the Internet, 32 percent use it daily and 31 percent use it several times a week, indicating than when people begin using the Internet, they’ll use it often.

The U.S. review shows that as overall user numbers rose, the number of women online jumped 32 percent, overshadowing a 20 percent growth for men. Males, however, are still spending more time online than females with the gap growing. Men spent one hour and 35 minutes more online per month than women did in February, increasing to two hours, 12 minutes in December.

Average time spent online per month per person increased 10.9 percent to eight hours and 17 minutes between February and December. Nielsen//NetRatings data for the past year indicates users went to fewer unique sites, but viewed more pages. The number of unique sites visited per month in the beginning of the year decreased 40 percent from 15 to 9 sites by December, while the number of page views seen per surfing session increased 68 percent from 19 to 32 during the same period.

The Nielsen//NetRatings audience measurement service collects data from more than 38,000 panelists as they use the Internet. The Nielsen//NetRatings panel is the world’s largest media research sample of at-home Internet users currently under measurement. Nielsen//NetRatings uses unique technology capable of measuring both Internet use and advertising to provide the most timely, accurate and comprehensive Internet usage data and advertising information in the industry.

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