Almost 38 per cent of all Internet users in India are 'heavy users' and on an average spend about 8.2 hours per week on the Internet, according to the I-Cube 2006 report of the Internet And Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International.
The report also revealed that the percentage of heavy Internet users in India is rapidly increasing, from 16 per cent in 2001 to 20 per cent in 2004 and 38 per cent in 2006 of the overall Internet users. Conversely, the percentage of light Internet users has steadily declined from 63 per cent in 2001 to 28 per cent in 2006.
The study further states that school going kids spent an average of 322.3 minutes a week on the Internet while college going students spent an average of 433.2 minutes a week. Older men spend an average of 580.5 minutes a week. Among women, working women spend an average 535.3 minutes, while non-working women spend 334.5 minutes a week.
Explaining this interesting trend, Dr Subho Ray, President, IAMAI, said, "The study has confirmed what we have guessed for some time, among some sections of media consumers, time spent on the Internet is longer than any other media. This is food for thought for advertisers and media buyers."
The study also said that the average time spent on the Internet in terms of minutes per week increased with the increasing age of the user. The active Internet users exhibit a marked increase in Internet usage as they graduate from school to college, and then on to their professional lives. The Internet has surely stamped its presence in the urban Indian landscape.
Mohan Krishnan, Vice-president and General Manager, IMRB International, said, "This trend is of great relevance. It leads us to the assumption that the Internet has now penetrated beyond the communication needs of the active user population and is no longer an avenue for exploring their curiosity. The active user population has found greater and diverse uses beyond communication and this is where the opportunity lies for far greater growth and adoption."
I-Cube 2006 covers around 65,000 individuals from 16,500 households surveyed in 26 cities with additional coverage of 10,000 businesses and 250 cyber café owners.