The Internet, ‘Family 2.0’ And The 43-Hour Day

Yahoo and OMD issued the findings from the latest round of their ongoing global research project in 16 countries that involves online surveys and in-person interviews. What they found is that through technology and multitasking families are cramming the equivalent of 43 hours of activity into a 24 hour day. They also found that the Internet (and mobile phones) are a significant part of the fabric of daily family life.

There’s a lot of interesting material in the findings. The top level data can be found in this release.

The following data are some of the more interesting findings published (some of this is verbatim from the release).

Families spend more time online than watching TV:

  • Using the Internet 3.6 hours
  • Watching TV 2.5 hours
  • Using instant messenger 1 hour
  • Emailing 1.2 hours
  • Listening to radio 1.3 hours

Other results:

More than half (55 percent) of survey respondents age 18-34 agreed that without technology they “wouldn’t be able to stay in touch with friends and family.” More than a third in the 18-34 age group said their social lives would suffer without technology (34 percent) and that technology enabled them to overcome shyness (36 percent).

Two thirds (66 percent) of U.S. families surveyed use the Internet to research products, and 64 percent use a search engine every day. Families also use the Internet to share photos (62 percent), make travel reservations (60 percent) and research health (61 percent).

Internet now a primary resource for various categories of information, including some in local:

Families have adapted to new and changing media and technology, and now rely on the Internet as their top source of information on travel, jobs, finance and automobiles. Approximately half of respondents said they rely primarily on television for news (50 percent) and comedy (43 percent). Magazines are a significant source for celebrity gossip and other niche content. Newspapers are viewed as a strong secondary source, after the Internet, for information with a local flavor such as jobs, sports, concerts and events.

And regarding advertising and media consumption…

Receptivity to advertising falls as ad channels become more personal. In the U.S., respondents reported that they were most open to ads in magazines and newspapers (72 percent), radio (60 percent) or TV (59 percent), and less receptive to ads on mobile phones or MP3 players.

Curiously there was nothing in the release about ads online or in search.

Postscript: Since viewing the report itself, I have a couple of things to add of interest:

Across the 11 categories of content that Yahoo-OMD explored (News, Travel, Jobs, Music, Movies, Finance, etc.) the Internet was the preferred source in all but two categories (News, Comedy/Humor), where TV was preferred with the Internet second.

Survey respondents in the U.S. were more open to ads (“It’s okay to find advertising in each place”) in traditional media than online or in mobile. The mobile finding is broadly consistent with other research in the market, but other studies have indicated people are open to paid-search ads and other forms of online advertising if it is perceived to be “relevant.”

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