Internet users in the Middle East are spending more time online than watching television according to a new survey published by online research company Effective Measure and carried out in conjunction with Spot On Public Relations. The survey of over 2500 internet users across the Middle East and North Africa clearly shows that 88% of Internet users in the region access the Internet daily, with many spending more time on the Internet than they do watching television.
“The survey clearly shows that people are accessing the Internet throughout the day and night, while other media such as newspapers, radio and television have peak times of usage,” said Effective Measures’ CEO Brendon Ogilvy. “In addition, more people are accessing the Internet on a daily basis and spending longer online, both in browsing and in updating social networks, than they are spending consuming ‘traditional’ media such as newspapers, radio, television and magazines. The findings show a real movement in the way people are accessing information here in the region.’
71% of respondents said they watched television daily, most (80%) watching in the evening between 8-12pm. Most people listened to radio and read newspapers in the morning (between 6am and 3pm). Respondents reported they accessed the Internet relatively evenly throughout the day. While 60% of people spent between 1-3 hours watching television daily, 68% spent longer (between 1 and 6 hours) using the Internet. Respondents spent the least time reading newspapers and magazines, with over 80% giving between 30 minutes and one hour to these activities daily.
“Few would doubt that the region is moving online, but it’s interesting to quantify how much time people are spending consuming information online compared to other forms of media,” said Spot On PR managing director Carrington Malin. “Our survey also analyses how people are using the Internet. Among users of social media, for instance, there are strong associations of social contact, friendship, free expression and sharing – and over 70% of respondents to the survey report they are using Facebook.”
Respondents cited email as the activity they most often carried out online (73%), while social networking (41%) and searching for information related to hobbies (42%) were popular activities. Over 40% of respondents said they most frequently searched for information on products or actively purchased products online.
The Effective Measure/Spot On survey was carried out between July 9th-12th 2010. The survey was conducted online via the Effective Measure survey technology (active across more than 100 websites in MENA). Total sample size was n=2587.