opinion

Four in Five U.S. Adults Online

Joe D



According to a recent Harris Poll, the number of adults who are online at home, in the office, at school, library, or other locations continues to grow at a steady rate. In the past year, the number of online users has reached an estimated 178 million, a ten percent increase.

In research among 2,062 U.S. adults surveyed by telephone in July and October, 2007, Harris Interactive found that 79 percent of adults are now online. This is a steady rise over the past few years, from 77 percent in February/April 2006, 74 percent in February/April 2005, 66 percent in the spring of 2002, 64 percent in 2001 and 57 percent in the spring of 2000.

When Harris Interactive first began to track Internet use in 1995, only nine percent of adults reported they went online.

The amount of time that people are spending online has also risen. The average number of hours per week that people are spending online is now at 11 hours, up from 9 hours last year and 8 hours in 2005.

The proportion of adults who are now online at home has risen to 72 percent, up from 70 percent in 2006 and 66 percent in the spring of 2005. The percentage of those online at work has also risen, now at 37 percent, and up from 35 percent in 2006.

The largest increase is among those adults who are online at a location other than their home or work, as this has risen from 22 percent in 2006 to 31 percent today. It appears people who do not have access at home or work are increasingly turning to other outlets to get online.

As Internet penetration continues to grow, the demographic profile of Internet users continues to look more like that of the nation as a whole. It is still true that more young than older people, and more affluent than low-income people, are online.

However, nine percent of those online are now age 65 or over (compared to 16% of all adults who are 65 or over), 39 percent of those online (compared to 47% of all adults) did not attend at least some college and 13 percent have incomes of less than $25,000 (compared to 17% of all adults).

Adult-industry professionals think the increases reported by the Harris Poll should translate into increased memberships, higher converting traffic and more revenue. "As more people get online, it's inevitable that they will view adult content," Luca Bizzotto, operations manager of Triple 10 Vault told AVN.

Sex can be an addiction, and when sexual content is so readily available, you can't help but take a peek. However, there is so much accessible on the Internet that I don't believe adult material is on the forefront of someone's mind when going online, necessarily. Viewing adult content is just one more thing they can do once they're online.

Hardcore Hotel owner Rabecca Renae agreed, noting that a home without a computer "would be a rarity," since Internet access is becoming "better and faster every day." She said that as the number of Internet users grows, it's inevitable that the number of users who view adult material increases, since "they go hand in hand."

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