January 31, 2005 09:19 ET

5 Years After the Bubble Burst

Global Internet Population Continues Strong Growth, Reveals Ipsos-Insight's latest The Face of the Web Study Attention: Tech/Telecomm Editor NEW YORK, NY--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 31, 2005) - In the race toward Internet adoption, Japan was the clear leader in 2004, with more than eight out of ten households using the Internet. Meanwhile, just when pundits set a cap on what might be considered an online saturation in the U.S., the largest online population market broke through a two-year plateau with a year-over year online population increase of 27%, according to Ipsos-Insight's current The Face of the Web study.

The annual study of Internet trends by Ipsos-Insight, the global survey-based marketing research firm, has been tracking global Internet developments since 1999. The latest findings - based on interviews in 12 key global markets with more than 6,500 adults, including 3,304 active Internet users- reflect adoption possibilities of the Internet that few other technologies have shown in the past.

In line with Ipsos-Insight's projection, growth in Internet usage in 2004 was primarily driven by Japan and the U.S. among the 12 markets measured. The U.S., nevertheless, still accounts for the largest Internet market with 162 million users, or 42% of the Internet population in measured markets. Japan follows, with close to 70 million users. Much of the remainder of the growth was contributed by France and urban markets of China and Russia, with the latter two, while still consisting only of close to 10 million online users each, demonstrating the strongest - each with over 50 percent -- year over year online population growth.

According to Brian Cruikshank, Senior Vice-President of Ipsos-Insight: "The continued growth in the Leading Edge markets provides a glimpse into the future of what is yet to come for other markets around the world, potentially at a much accelerated pace. Considering it's only been five years since the financial markets' enthusiasm for the Internet waned, and 10 years since broad adoption of the Internet, Internet growth continues to expand in developed markets and reach critical mass in many markets in Europe and Asia. There's much more to come."

Growth potential is not simply measured by how many users log on each day; the amount of time Users spend online is another strong indicator. While the U.S. may have the largest User population, it is the East Asian markets of Japan, South Korea, and Urban China that harbour a larger segment of Users who spend the most time online. Close to two out of five past 30 day Internet Users in these markets indicated they spend more than 11 hours online per week compared to three out of ten past 30 day Users in North America, Mexico and France. Elsewhere, including the U.K. and Germany, less than one in five Users spend more than 11 hours online per week, partly attributable to the cost of access and the fact that heavy daily use is still not at levels seen in North America. There continues to be access limitations in the less developed Internet markets preventing heavy daily or weekly access.

Cruikshank continued, "With the decreasing access costs for Internet service and hardware in North America, Europe and Asia and the continuing integration of the Internet in people's personal, professional and social lives, those who are already Internet users will continue to spend more time online, increasing online traffic globally. We anticipate that future growth in Internet users, on the other hand, will come from Western Europe, South Korea and the urban environments of China, Russia and India."

"Internet growth, however, is not restricted to wired networks alone. Our current wave of findings show that a multitude of wireless data applications are changing the Internet landscape as we know it," concluded Cruikshank.

The Face of the Web 2004 study was conducted in October 2004 among a random sample of 6,544 adults in urban Brazil, Canada, urban China, France, Germany, urban India, Japan, urban Mexico, urban Russia, South Korea, the U.K., and the U.S. The results of the survey were released to subscribers in January 2005.

The Face of the Web 2004 study also examined:
-Household technologies owned and used, as they relate to wireless communication, Internet access and future home networking possibilities
-Both wired and wireless activities performed
-Types of connectivity used (i.e., broadband cable, DSL, dial-up modem, wireless etc.) and trends in emerging technologies such as Wi-Fi and other data driven wireless applications
-Extent of wireless Internet connectivity, types of wireless devices in use, and intentions for adoption
-Global Internet awareness, trial and usage within twelve key markets around the world
-Barriers to Internet usage, future plans to go online and implications of Internet growth

To learn more about The Face of the Web 2004, please visit our news center at:http://www.ipsos-insight.com/industryfocus/techandcomm/FOW.aspx)

For information on purchasing The Face of the Web 2004 study, please contact:
Neil Modi
Technology/Telecommunications Research

Ipsos-Insight, the flagship marketing research division of Ipsos in the U.S., has industry specialists serving companies in the following categories: consumer products; technology and communications; health and pharmaceutical; financial services; cable, media and entertainment; agrifood; energy and utilities; and lottery and gaming.

Ipsos-Insight provides custom and tracking research services to domestic clients, as well as U.S.-based multinationals. It offers concept and product testing, package testing, attitude and usage studies, omnibuses, tracking systems, brand equity, price optimization and segmentation, marketing models, advanced analytics, and global research. Ipsos-Insight is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-based market research group. To learn more, please visit www.ipsos-insight.com.

Ipsos is a leading global survey-based market research group, which conducts research in more than 100 countries. Ipsos offers a full suite of research services-guided by industry experts and bolstered by advanced analytics and methodologies-in advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, and public affairs research, as well as forecasting and modeling. Member companies in Europe, North America, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific also offer a full line of custom, syndicated, omnibus, panel, and online research products and services. Visit www.ipsos.com to learn more about Ipsos offerings and capabilities.

Contact Information

  • Neil Modi, Technology/Telecommunications Research, Ipsos-Insight
    Primary Phone: 312-665-0561
    E-mail: nilesh.modi@ipsos-na.com