Internet and TV use now equal for Americans

Back in October we posted an article about Internet use and the fact that there would be 2 billion users worldwide by the end of this year. Now another intriguing statistic has been revealed showing that in the U.S. Internet use now equals the amount of TV use.

This seems amazing considering the popularity of TV and the relatively short span of time by comparison that Internet use has been around, but the statistics brought to us by Lauren Indvik of Mashable tell the story. The article looks into a survey carried out by Forrester and its findings included the fact that the average American is now using the Internet for around 13 hours a week, roughly the same as the time spent viewing offline TV.

The survey was carried out with 30,000 participants and shows that in fact younger Americans (aged 31-44) actually use the Internet more than TV for the first time ever. The age group between 45 and 54 spend the same amount of time a week on both. Although TV usage has stayed pretty level in the last 5 years, over the same time Internet usage has increased by a staggering 121%. A big reason for the surge in Internet use is put down to the growing usage of mobile devices that use the Internet while usage of magazines, the radio and newspapers have all decreased in the last 5 years.

Joshua Brustein over on The New York Times points out another statistic from the same survey about the notable rise in people using the Internet to view streaming video. This figure has risen 18% since 2007 and now 33% say they watch streaming video using the Internet. The statistics revealed in the Forrester survey may not particularly surprise the younger generation, for whom the Internet has always been around, but for others these numbers will seem remarkable. What are your thoughts on the fact that just as much time is now spent by Americans on the Internet as watching TV? We’d be interested to hear your comments about this.