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Internet Usage: Predictors of Active Users and Frequency of Use



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Future Media Working Paper

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The factors that predict Internet usage patterns are explored through the use of consumer panel data. We look at two major aspects of usage behaviour; active (current) versus lapsed usage and usage frequency among current users. We find that the main predictors of active or current use of the Internet are: - Time since first use of the Internet. Pioneers (very early adopters) are most likely to be active users. Hoever, the relationship is not a linear one; middle adopters are more likely than other groups to have not used the Internet in the previous month. - Location of use. Social use at home, especially with two or more other people. - Specific services used. Personal communication is the most popular activity (used by just over half the sample), but the best predictors of active users are use of information services. The main predictors of frequent or heavy Internet use (20+ times per month) are: - Broad applications, e.g., business email followed by personal email. - Time since first Internet use. The relationship here is linear; the longer someone has used the Internet, the more likelt they are to be a heavy user. - Location of use. Use at work and use at home with two or more other people are both strong predictors of heavy usage.

Publication Research Centre

Centre for Marketing, Future Media Research Programme (closed)

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Future Media Working Paper

Available on ECCH


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