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72% Of Internet Sessions Are Planned: Microsoft-MEC-Mindshare Study

Spontaneous activity on the internet has halved in the last two years as consumers are trying to make better use of time spent online, according to a recent study by Microsoft, MEC and Mindshare.

According to the study titled 'Living with the internet: A Global Study of What's Driving Web Behaviour', in a comparison of planned versus spontaneous web sessions, it was found that 72 per cent of internet sessions are planned by Indian users. On an average, 80 per cent of user sessions across the globe are done with more deliberate planning — driven by more mindful use of one's personal time.

"The rapidly changing dynamics of internet usage in India offer a fresh set of opportunities and challenges for advertisers. 'Living with the internet' clearly underscores that as the internet grows to a scale and size, consumers are adopting a time-efficient, planned and deliberate approach towards internet usage, which in turn implies that marketers will have to work harder to reach the consumer on the go," said Neville Taraporewalla, Director - Microsoft Advertising, Microsoft India.

The study found that the majority of time spent online is habitual, with only 16 per cent being prompted by an event, conversation or offline media. Around 49 per cent of the users are online to communicate with others, while 35 per cent seek information and entertainment in the form of music, video and gaming is the motivation for going online for 22 per cent of all online occasions. Around 14 per cent create content while 12 per cent access the internet for online transactions.

The study was the result of a collaboration among Microsoft Advertising, MEC and Mindshare Worldwide. It was undertaken in ten countries, between 2007 and 2010 - Brazil, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Russia, China, India, Japan, Mexico, Canada and the USA. The study looked at web use diaries from 7,000 users aged between 16 and 54 years old and their changing online behaviour and the effectiveness of online ads.

Shubha George, Chief Operating Officer, MEC South Asia said "MEC introduced the concept of paid, owned and earned media last year and the interplay amongst the three types of media is most significant in the digital world. The digital world today is an amalgamation of multiple digital touch points, often simultaneously. For holistic campaigns, brands need to activate all aspects of digital media to engage the multitasking consumer"

Other insights from the study include -- 34 per cent of smartphone usage is primarily for seeking information and content sharing, while 33 per cent of notebook usage is for transactions and entertainment.

The report is available here for download.

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