UK users spend 6 hours a week online, some are on 80

The Internet is now inexorably weaved into daily life in the UK with almost 90 per cent of home internet users now spending six hours or more online each week, 40 per cent of whom are downloading music and 16 per cent watching online video.

Unsurprisingly, 90 per cent of broadband users go online to send email while more than 60 per cent use auction sites such as eBay, according to new research from Point Topic.

At the end of last year almost 65 per cent of users had purchased from an online store but by June 2007 this had reached 70 per cent. However, weekly spend online as declined slightly, even as there has been a slight increase in user spending at the lower end of the scale (£1-£20 per week). In other words people are buying smaller and smaller items online in quick one-off purchases, and some high street stores are matching internet prices. At the same time Dr Katja Mueller, research director at Point Topic says “one is that the fastest growing groups of online users are now at the lower end of the income scale and this is reflected directly in the amounts being spent online.”

Point Topic’s broadband consumer survey indicates that 86.6 per cent of residential internet users spend at least six hours online every week, up from 83 per cent at the end of 2006 and 50 per cent at the end of 2005. In addition, five per cent of respondents claimed to spend more than 80 hours a week online. That’ll be the World of Warcraft crowd, then – or the bloggers and Facebook addicts (I jest).

No figures were released for Ireland, but it’s probably fair to say they would be on a parr, given similar rates of broadband uptake.