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Largest-Ever Global Measurement Of Internet

Nielsen//Netratings Releases Largest-Ever Global Measurement Of Internet Penetration

Launches Global Internet Trends Service, a Ground-Breaking Study Revealing Trends in Internet Access And Usage

New Zealand Rates Highly In Multiple Internet Sources At Home

Auckland – 21 November 2000 – Nielsen//NetRatings, the world’s fastest growing Internet audience measurement service, has released the first-ever examination of Internet access and penetration in Europe, Asia Pacific and North America, finding more than 295 million people across 20 countries in those regions with Internet access from a home PC.

The findings are from the new Nielsen//NetRatings Global Internet Trends service, a subscription service reporting key Internet penetration figures across 17 countries in Europe and Asia Pacific. The Q2 2000 service covers data collected between April and June 2000 across Europe and Asia Pacific, drawn from more than 25,000 surveys conducted using consistent research methodology. The Q2 service covers: New Zealand, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, and Singapore. In Q3 2000 the service will expand to provide reports on trends in North America and globally, with continued expansion as additional markets come online.

“Nielsen//NetRatings Global Internet Trends brings a powerful new perspective to the growth in Internet access worldwide,” said William Pulver, president of ACNielsen “Prior to this report, advertisers and marketers had to rely on country-by-country statistics gathered using varying methodologies. With Nielsen//NetRatings Global Internet Trends, we can definitively report such valuable information as the number of people and households per country with access to the Internet, their online browsing and purchasing habits and the rates of access at home, work or other locations.”

The Q2 2000 Nielsen//NetRatings Global Internet Trends information for Europe reported that across 14 key European markets approximately 82 million people aged two and above have access to the Internet from a home PC.

“The US and Japan are widely recognised as having the largest Internet populations in the world,” said Brian Milnes, Managing Director Pacific, ACNielsen “With Nielsen//NetRatings Global Internet Trends we see a European penetration figure of 82 million people which equates to one household in five, with more than half -- 56% -- of those people residing in the UK, Germany and Italy. Those three countries are well worth watching in the coming months as they continue to emerge on the global scene.”

Nielsen//NetRatings Global Internet Trends also found that in Q2 2000, more people in every country except Switzerland had Internet access at home than at work.

In Asia Pacific, most households have only one source at home with which to access the Internet. Multiple sources of Internet access are more common in New Zealand, where nearly a quarter of households have two or more devices with access to the Internet.

Milnes also noted that most households with Internet access use only one source to gain access to the Internet. In Europe overall, only 22% of households have access via more than one source. Multiple sources are most common in Switzerland, where close to half the households with access connect through more than one device, while almost no home in France has access via more than one source.

At an individual level, the adult populations (16+) of Norway, Denmark and Sweden have the highest levels of access to the Internet from any location, including work. In addition, greater proportions of their populations have used the Internet and remain frequent users, more likely to browse the Internet for product and pricing information and registering among the most prolific on-line purchasers. (See Table 2).

Demonstrating the maturity of those markets, around half of the households with Internet access in Norway, Denmark and Sweden have had Internet access at least since 1998. Similarly, among New Zealand, Australia and Singapore, the Singaporean market is the most mature with a greater proportion of people having gained access to the Internet either in 1998 or prior to 1998.

“The picture in France is interesting because relative to the rest of Europe, Internet penetration both at home and at work are low,” Milnes said. “One key reason for this is that Minitel – France Telecom’s own information network – has been available in France from the early 80’s and enjoys high levels of penetration both at home and at work. We will continue to see growth in online access in France trailing the rest of Europe while potential online users’ needs are being met elsewhere.

“Finland’s relatively lower penetration rate via home PC compared to the other Nordics is a function of the much lower proportion of households with a fixed telephone line,” Milnes continued. “Finland has experienced a marked decrease in fixed line telephone penetration in households over recent years, with a corresponding sharp increase in the penetration of mobile telephones. While this has impacted the growth in static Internet access, Finland will be well placed when the anticipated increase in access to the Internet via other devices such as WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) takes off.”
Table 2.
% People (16+) Browsing for Products Online and Purchasing, past 6 months*
*Among population 16+ in households with fixed line telephone(s) and who have browsed the Internet for products and pricing

% People Browsing for Products Online % People Purchasing Online
Australia 23 11
Austria 21 10
Belgium/Luxembourg 9 4
Denmark 31 11
Finland 22 9
France 5 2
Germany 18 10
Ireland 10 4
Italy 6 2
Netherlands 18 5
New Zealand 23 8
Norway 23 10
Singapore 14 4
Spain 5 1
Sweden 31 17
Switzerland 23 11a
UK 14 9
Source: Nielsen//NetRatings Global Internet Trends, Q2 2000

Milnes noted that in Asia Pacific, browsing for product and price information on the Internet is a more firmly entrenched activity for Australians and New Zealanders than for Singaporeans. On-line purchasing is also more likely to happen in Australia and New Zealand than in Singapore, as nearly a quarter of adults 16 or older in Australia and New Zealand have browsed the Internet for pricing or other information on products and services, and slightly more than one in 10 Australians have then gone on to make a purchase. In Singapore, only 14% of people 16 or older have browsed the Internet for products, with only 4% going on to make a purchase.

In Europe, the Nordic countries as a group tended to exhibit the highest levels of online product browsing. However, the UK had the highest browse-to-purchase ratio of all the European countries, with 64% of UK Internet users who have browsed for information and prices about products and services having made a purchase in the past six months. The lowest levels of browsing activity were observed in Belgium/Luxembourg, Italy, France and Spain.

Nielsen//NetRatings Global Internet Trends measures more than 30 factors, including: the number of total households and people with Internet access at home or other locations; the demographic breakdown of the home Internet population; home PC ownership; rates of use of home PC’s for connection to the Internet; the period of time when Internet access was acquired in a household or is expected; the number of fixed and mobile telephones per household, and the level of online purchasing.


About Nielsen//NetRatings
Through strategic partnerships between NetRatings, Nielsen Media Research and ACNielsen, the Nielsen//NetRatings audience measurement service collects real-time data from more than 165,000 Internet users around the world. The U.S. panel sample currently consists of 57,000 at-home users and 8,000 at-work users. International panels are under development with over 100,000 at-home users currently being measured. These panels collectively represent the largest media research sample of Internet users in the industry.

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 global marketplace. Nielsen//NetRatings tracks the entire spectrum of Internet user behaviour, leveraging proprietary data-collection technology from NetRatings, Nielsen Media Research's 50 years of expertise in research and audience measurement, and ACNielsen’s international leadership in offering market research information covering more than 100 countries. For more information, please visit

About ACNielsen
ACNielsen is a venture between ACNielsen (NYSE: ART) and NetRatings Inc. (Nasdaq: NTRT). ACNielsen is the world's leading market research firm, offering measurement and analysis of marketplace dynamics, consumer attitudes and behavior, and new and traditional media in more than 100 countries, and NetRatings is the leading provider of Internet audience measurement technology and
analysis. Through the Nielsen//NetRatings service, ACNielsen is creating the first global service for tracking audiences, advertising and user activity on the Internet in more than 30 countries worldwide.

About NetRatings, Inc.
NetRatings (Nasdaq: NTRT) provides Internet audience measurement and analysis services that enable its customers to make informed decisions regarding their Internet strategies. NetRatings delivers accurate and timely information collected from a representative sample of Internet users and augments it with detailed, flexible reporting and in-depth analyses.

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