Brits Focus their Internet Time on a Few Sites

internet use
The top 10 web brands are getting stronger, despite the proliferation of new sites and services. The 10 Web brands on which Britons spend the most time accounted for nearly half of all U.K. Internet time -- compared to less than 42 percent a year ago.

Over one in five minutes spent online is on social media and chat services Facebook and MSN/Windows Live, according to Nielsen Online. Nielsen also noted that Apple is catching Microsoft for share of U.K. internet time.

The huge share of time accounted for by the 10 most heavily used Web brands is increasing. In April 2009, the 10 Web brands on which Britons spent the most time accounted for 45 percent of all U.K. Internet time -- compared to less than 42 percent in April 2008. Even rapidly growing sites such as Twitter didn't make the top 10.

"The internet is a complex and varied ecosystem and I think most people would be surprised by just how much time is accounted for by a relatively few brands who, in turn, are increasing their share of the pie," said Alex Burmaster, Communications Director, EMEA, Nielsen Online."The two most heavily used web brands -- Facebook and MSN/Windows Live -- account for almost 11 billion of the 48 billion minutes that Britons spend online. That's over one in every five minutes and highlights just how competitive the online space is for both publishers and advertisers when it comes to capturing consumer attention.

"In April 2009, the average Briton spent 22 hours 20 minutes online or using Internet-related applications. This represents a 34 percent increase on a year ago when the figure was 16 hours 36 minutes. Both figures are less than the 32.7 hours weekly recorded by American users, in a separate study by IDG. Facebook is one of the major factors in the increasing time people are spending online -- the site recording 3.8 billion more minutes in April 2009 than April 2008.

Most heavily used web brands; share of UK internet time

Communication and entertainment are the two central themes among the most heavily used web brands. Alongside Facebook, communication accounts for MSN/Windows Live whose time is driven by its Messenger and Hotmail services while Yahoo and AOL score heavily on time due to their e-mail offerings.

Entertainment is accounted for by video publisher YouTube and the technology companies Microsoft and Apple whose media player offerings -- Windows Media Player and iTunes, respectively -- are the reason they generate such high time figures.

Burmaster concludes: "The major players have had a pretty good year in terms of the increasing amount of time people spend on their websites and applications. This bodes well for the online industry as it attempts to attract the big brand advertisers by providing a more meaningful platform to engage consumers, particularly through the vehicles of entertainment and communication.

Internet news and reviews

Subscribe to the Daily Downloads Newsletter

Comments