Surfers Skip Magazines For Web

By: John Geralds

(vnunet.com) A U.S. report has found that surfers are more likely to turn to the Web for breaking news than more traditional media.

Some 81% of Internet users have tried at least one of the major online news services, such as ABC News, CBS News, CNN, and MSNBC.com, according to a study by Market Facts for MSNBC.com.

The study, which used a random sample of 350 online news users during July and August 2001, found that local news, national news, and weather were the three topics mostly sought out by Web users.

In addition, it reported that broadband users were more likely to use streaming audio, video, and rich media to optimize the coverage of breaking news and live events.

A total of 65% of U.S. Internet users reported regularly using the Web as a source for news, compared with magazines (58%), radio (67%), cable (76%), and network television (89%).

Merrill Brown, senior vice president and editor in chief at MSNBC.com, explained that, compared to other long established media, the Internet was rapidly being adopted by consumers nationwide as a primary source for news.

“Additionally, broadband users, especially in the workplace, are taking full advantage of the interactive content offerings by using live and on-demand video, and packages specifically developed for high-speed connections,” he said.

Broadband users watch streaming video 4.1 times a month, compared to 1.3 times for dial-up connections.

Some 44% of broadband users have watched streaming news video on the Internet, and 67% of those users have seen a streaming advertisement, according to the study.

The report also found that 31% of news media users surveyed use the Web for news and information while at work, more than newspapers (23%) and radio (17%).

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