As advertisers continue to  search for the best way to reach consumers online they may want to review what consumers are doing online. The results of the Internet Activity Index published by the  OPA (Online 286905_ofcomm_series_-_laptop_on_tablPublishers Association) shows consumers are spending more time than ever on content sites. Pam Horan, president of the OPA, notes that content  ‘sites continue to be a place where consumers spend the majority of their online time and provide an environment for brand marketers to reach and engage with consumers.’

According to the OPA study, consumers are shifting away from traditional communications like e-mail and IM to community or social sites. In 2003, the average person spent 5 hours and 20 minutes a month on traditional online communication. By 2009, that number dropped to 4 hours and 54 minutes. In return, time spent on community sites, an option not measured in 2003, stands at 3 hours and 1 minute a month. As a part of the total time spent online, content increased its portion from 34% to 42%. In raw numbers, the average consumer spent 3 hours and 42 minutes on content sites in 2003. In 2009, the time has increased to nearly 7 hours.

While marketers must decide which consumer segments to target in their online campaigns, the OPA numbers indicate that maintaining a presence on content sites definitely corresponds to the favorite destinations for many consumers.

[Source: Press release, Online Publishers Association, 9.17.09]