Australians use up nearly a day on the Internet every week

Nielsen finds that 82 per cent spend 23.3 hours online per week

Businesses are spending more on online advertising to engage Australians whose online activities now consume nearly an entire day each week, according to a study released today by Nielsen.

In its 2014 Australian Connected Consumer Report, Nielsen found that 82 per cent of Australians spend an average of 23.3 hours online each week. That’s a big increase from a 2003 Nielsen study that found 73 per cent of Australians spent 6.7 hours online.

Australians are active social media users, the study found. Nielsen said that seven in 10 Australians actively use social media, and six in t10 are active Facebook users. Ten years ago, less than one in ten online consumers did social networking and Facebook didn’t exist.

The boom in online activity has come with an explosion in the number of connected devices in each household. Nielsen said that 38 per cent of Australian households today have four or more devices that connect to the Internet. In addition, about 74 per cent watch TV and use the Internet on a second device at the same time, it said.

Consumers are opting more for portability in 2013, Nielsen said. Laptop ownership increased to 77 per cent from 33 per cent in 2003, while desktop ownership decreased 8 percentage points to 72 per cent, it said.

In addition, more than a third of online Australians own connected devices that didn’t exist in 2003, including smartphones, tablets, connected videogame consoles and smart TVs.

Marketers have responded with more online ads, Nielsen said. Today, online advertising comprises 27 per cent of total ad spend, up from 3 per cent in 2003, it said.

“Australians have adapted aggressively to the changing media landscape, consuming considerably more media across more devices over the past t10 years,” Nielsen cross-platform research director, Melanie Ingrey, said in a statement.

“When we look at how consumers obtained information and engaged with brands 10 years ago, it’s as if we’re looking at an entirely different industry playing field today.”

Savvy marketers will adapt to the changing user behaviour, Ingrey said.

“With so many touch points out there, the opportunities to connect and engage with consumers are growing. What’s more, the mobility of these devices facilitates online media access across a range of locations and situations, providing brands an opportunity to engage with consumers at the right time, in the right place.”

Follow Adam Bender on Twitter: @WatchAdam

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