Online research and learning

One of the key uses for the Internet is researching goods and services, schoolwork, jobs, health issues and the like. Respondents in developed countries tended to research for products more often than those from developing countries, either weekly or monthly, while travel searches were generally less frequent but followed the same pattern. Health searches appeared to be evenly distributed from less than monthly to daily in each country, and, therefore, did not appear to be driven by income.

Job research was much less frequent in each country and evenly distributed throughout each time spectrum. A significant number of respondents in each country responded they “never” researched jobs, followed by the next popular response of “less than monthly.”

While online distance learning elicited very little response across the countries surveyed, weekly and daily homework research was a strong indicator of significant online usage in all of the countries surveyed. Daily schoolwork research was the top response for Australia, New Zealand and Canada, while weekly homework research was first in the remaining countries.

At the rate of some of the mobile Internet access for many of these top sites, many could see mobile access surpassing PC access in a year or two, including Google, Facebook, Amazon, The Weather Channel, Answers.com, Apple, Turner Digital (including CNN), CBS Interactive, eBay and Comcast.

Pandora already reaches double the audience on mobile as it does on PCs, and has bragging rights to the fastest growing Web audience in the Top 25 list, growing at a rate of 155 percent from 2011 to 2012.

The data set is a part of a collection of 500 revenue and usership trends in mobile, social, Internet, tablet, video and other digital categories, published in the 200-page Global Digital Media Trendbook 2013. GDMT, in its eight year, is to be published by World Newsmedia Network, a not-for-profit media research company, in September 2013. To subscribe to the PDF report and/or the tablet edition, go to www.wnmn.org, or contact mstone@wnmn.org.

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