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Watching television most common offline activity connected with Internet consumption.

Internet users, more than ever before, are multitasking and incorporating different and new media types into an interconnected experience, according to a recent survey by Burst Media. The study found that more than 82 percent of the respondents are involved with another media, activity or device while online. Among these multitaskers, nearly 25 percent are "super-taskers" juggling four or more tasks while online. Watching television, 58 percent, is the most common offline activity connected with Internet consumption.

The implication for broadcasters and marketers will be to simultaneously direct ad dollars into an array of media choices to capture this fragmented attention.

In October 2007, Burst Media, a provider of advertising representation, services and technology to independent Web publishers, conducted the online study of 2700 Web users 18 and older about activities they engage in while online. This Web-based survey also examined how media fragmentation impacts the ability to market to people online.

The survey discovered that consumers' online habits are changing TV viewing patterns.

  • More than 75 percent of respondents who watch television while online visit Web sites directly related to the program they are watching, and 6 percent of respondents combine online and offline "all the time." The segment most likely to view Web and related TV content are men between the ages of 18-24.
  • More than 75 percent of the survey respondents who visit Web sites about programming they are viewing have done so while watching a TV comedy or drama. Women are more likely than men to do this — 79 percent versus 72 percent, respectively. Sports programming on television drives 37 percent of respondents to the Web. Men are twice as likely — 50 percent vs. 25 percent — to visit sites about sports programming they are viewing than women, and one-quarter of both men and women visit sites about music/music video programming they are viewing.

About 42 percent of respondents watch less television today than one year ago. Of all respondents, one-third 36.9% watch "about the same amount." The decrease in TV viewership is most pronounced among respondents 18-24 years. Among this group, half watch less television today than one year ago. Additionally, nearly one-half of women 25-34 years and 35-44 years watch less television today than they did one year ago.

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