Bad News For Drive By Media – Internet Use At All-Time High
Whenever newspaper corporations report disappointing quarterly earnings numbers – which is quite frequent these days as recently reported by NewsBusters – they always cite the Internet as a problem for subscription and advertising rates. Well, The Pew Internet & American Life Project has released results of a new study on Internet usage and penetration, and the news is not good for the drive by media. The data show a huge year-over-year increase in the number of adults using the Internet:
“While the share of internet users who report positive impacts has grown, the sheer size of the internet population also continues to increase. Surveys fielded in 2006 show that internet penetration among adults in the U.S. has hit an all-time high. While the percentage of Americans who say they use the internet has continued to fluctuate slightly, our latest survey, fielded February 15 – April 6, 2006 shows that fully 73% of respondents (about 147 million adults) are internet users, up from 66% (about 133 million adults) in our January 2005 survey.”
So 14 million more American adults are using the Internet than in Pew’s January 2005 poll. This represents a 10.5 percent year-over-year increase. Yet, maybe most telling are the generational differences in Internet usage: “While 88% of 18-29 year-olds now go online, 84% of 30-49 year-olds, 71% of 50-64 year-olds, and 32% of those age 65 and older say they use the internet. In a separate survey conducted in Oct-Nov 2004, we found that 87% of 12-17 year-olds use the internet.”Clearly, the importance of these generational numbers is that almost 90 percent of folks under the age of 29 are using the Internet. This is extremely problematic for the print media, as it suggests that two generations of Americans are learning to get their information from non-traditional sources.