Study: U.S. Hispanic Internet Usage Rises

By: Mindy Charski

( U.S. Hispanic Internet usage increased by double digits during the last year, according to a report released last week by comScore Media Metrix.

Based on continuous measurement of Web-wide buying and surfing behavior, the analysis by the Reston, Va.-based company examined key growth metrics, language preferences and top properties among the 12.5 million Hispanics online in the U.S.

In a representative panel of 50,000 U.S. Hispanic Internet users that spanned all key markets and language preferences, the study discovered that both the amount of time spent online and the number of Web pages viewed has increased dramatically.

The report noted that Hispanic Internet users spent an average of 26.5 hours online this past September, versus 21.4 hours in October 2002 — an increase of 24%. The study also found that growth in content consumption was up, with the average U.S. Hispanic user visiting 2,791 pages in September, an increase of 30% over the same period last year.

According to the findings, top properties visited by U.S. Hispanics in the last year were AOL Time Warner, with 9.7 million visitors; Yahoo!, 9.6 million; and MSN-Microsoft, 9.4 million. While Terra Lycos came in fourth place with 5.4 million visitors, its Spanish-language site, Terra Networks, was the No. 1 Spanish-language site among U.S. Hispanics, with over 1.5 million visitors.

The data also found that about half of U.S Hispanics who use the Internet prefer to speak English, while the other half either prefers Spanish or uses Spanish and English equally. The report concluded that while English-language content reaches large numbers of Hispanics, marketers must also provide relevant Spanish-language content to fully influence U.S. Hispanics online.

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