SOURCE: eMarketer

November 01, 2005 08:00 ET

African Americans Starting to Catch Up In Online Usage

More Internet Usage Among African Americans as Digital Divide Narrows

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- November 1, 2005 -- The gap in Internet usage between African Americans and whites still exists, but a report published today by eMarketer shows that the gap is narrowing, and will continue to narrow over the next decade.

eMarketer's new report, African Americans Online: Crossing the Digital Divide, finds that usage among the African American population is now 48.7%, which is still short of the 68.8% level among whites. However, as the number of African Americans online increases and growth among whites plateaus, that difference will decrease.

"The African American online market is gaining some momentum as more users come online and as blue-chip advertisers reach out to this growing audience," says the author of the report, Debra Aho Williamson, senior analyst at eMarketer.

African Americans now make up 10.5% of all US Internet users.

"Put another way, there are nearly as many African Americans online as there are teens online in the US," says Ms. Williamson. "African Americans are a strong potential market for broadband services and for education, career-oriented and informational content. They will also be among the early adopters of the mobile Internet."

Of course, critical barriers do remain. Chief among them is that many African American households still do not have a computer. "Although African Americans are increasingly using the Internet at work, home access is a strong driver of frequency of use," notes Ms. Williamson.

eMarketer's African Americans Online report answers these key questions:

--  How many African Americans are online?
--  What is the potential for broadband in the market?
--  What activities are most common?
--  What online marketing tactics work best?
--  And many more...
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