opinion

Traffic: Taking a Look at the Stats

Stephen Yagielowicz

Traffic is everything to ecommerce website operators, so it’s vital to understand how the current traffic pie is being sliced, and how adult fits in. The short course is that the once dominant American porn surfer now makes up only a minor blip in the traffic scene.

The United Nations estimates that more than 2 billion people are on the Internet — this is a really huge number and one that reflects the ongoing globalization of cyberspace. While this seems (and is) a giant figure, it is less than half of the 5 billion worldwide mobile phone subscribers estimated by the world body, an increasing number of whom are using these devices to access the Internet.

The United Nations estimates that more than 2 billion people are on the Internet — this is a really huge number and one that reflects the ongoing globalization of cyberspace.

For those focused on American Internet users, the U.S. Census Department offers a range of publications detailing the latest usage data as part of its 2012 Statistical Abstract; including average estimated revenues and expenses, daily access activities focused by the users’ geographical location, and much more. This information is vital for understanding the U.S. market and for relevant business planning.

The U.S. also still enjoys the world’s highest Internet penetration rate, now hovering around 80 percent; but things have definitely changed….

There is an acronym for the major emerging markets that you must be familiar with: “BRIC” — Brazil, Russia, India and China — regions where the increasing affordability of computers and growing Internet penetration rates, are unlocking new opportunities for adult and beyond.

These four countries are home to more than six out of 10 of all Internet users today — a percentage that’s still growing.

Russia and the former Soviet states (along with the Arab states), have seen some of the most impressive growth rates, doubling Internet access during the past five years, but share a common problem with Brazil: many prospects lack the ability or means to pay — an issue endemic to BRIC and other developing nations — but an issue that is resolving itself over time.

Take India and China as examples:

According to a study by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), the country’s online population is expected to swell by more than 20 percent during the last three months of this year, to reach 121 million users — of which, 97 million are expected to become active surfers — defined as those accessing the Internet at least once monthly.

The IAMAI report stated that reaching 100 million Internet users was considered a critical landmark for the developing country; Internet access throughout India is expected to enter a critical period of growth, holding out “the possibility of [India] becoming the largest Internet using country in the world,” and becoming so within the next decade….

Chinese Internet use in fact is increasing quite dramatically, with reports indicating that 508 million Chinese were going online in June of 2011 — a 41 million user increase compared with June of 2010. Chinese media firm DCCI estimates that this number will swell to around 551 million users by the end of this year.

While the country’s Internet penetration rate hovers around a “low” 35 percent, it is still reportedly higher than the world average — with broadband use up by 30 percent — although typical Internet connection speeds in China are roughly half as fast as the global average of more than 230KB/s.

It is important to note that almost 70 percent of Chinese Internet access is via mobile devices, with the average user reportedly spending around three hours online per day.

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