Dec 27, 2009

Hitwise Intelligence - Sandra Hanchard - Asia Pacific

Analyst Weblog

2009 Year of the Status Update: Spending more time on fewer sites

December 24, 2009

To wrap up my blog for this year, I thought I’d look at how Australian Internet users divide their time online. This is a pertinent question as marketers battle it out for the precious attention span of consumers on what is now considered a mainstream channel.
The below table compares the average session time for each Experian Hitwise parent industry during November 2009 and November 2008.
Overall Australian are spending a longer amount of time online during each session, with the average visit time 11 minutes 30 seconds in November 2009, compared to 11 minutes 7 seconds in November 2008. This might seem like a marginal difference but what’s interesting is the spread in time spent online. There were only three parent industries which increased their average session duration over the year, namely, Computers and Internet, Shopping and Classifieds and Adult.
Computers and Internet websites attracted the greatest increase in average visit time over the year, with the sub-industry, Social Networking and Forums accounting for the longest amount of time. The average session duration to Social Networking and Forums was 20 minutes 43 seconds in November 2009, compared to 19 minutes 12 seconds in November 2008. Australians also spent a longer amount of time on Email Services, Portal Frontpages and Search Engines.
Greater concentration in visits to top sites
At the same time, we’re also seeing a greater concentration in visits to the top 10 websites, which unsurprisingly all fall under the Computers and Internet parent category. The top 10 websites accounted for 29% share of visits in November 2009, compared to 26.3% share of visits in November 2008. In other words, the ‘big’ players are getting bigger.
What we need to consider now is that users are doing more within each ‘web business’ ecosystem. There’s a lot of anecdotal commentary that ‘status updates’ are a popular form of user activity (and we can tackle the Hitwise evidence for this in a future post). The key point is that we’re spending more time engaging with more fragmented information, which also belies thephenomenal growth of Twitter.
So if I had one standout message for marketers in 2010: ‘Brevity’ and ‘Relevancy’ of communications will be the earmarks of success for engaging with the 24/7 connected consumer. Thanks for reading, and see you all next year!