Every once in a while, be it yearly, quarterly, or what have you, the fine people over at Nielsen, a company that specializes in providing what many consider the one and only source for many metrics, pump out some reports that concern us the gamer (though they also report a lot on other subjects that may interest you, such as video consumption, the smartphone market, and whatnot).
They recently published their findings on American activities online, breaking the total time spent into categories such as instant messaging, auctions, and search. The big news, however, is that gaming at 407 million hours has overtaken e-mailing’s 329 millions hours as the number two time sink on the Internet, though both pale in comparison to social networks and their sizable lead at 906 million hours. Those three total up to be 41.2% of the total time spent on the Internet.
Actually, Nielsen analyst Dave Martin had something interesting to say on that particular topic: “Despite the almost unlimited nature of what you can do on the web, 40 percent of U.S. online time is spent on just three activities – social networking, playing games, and emailing, leaving a whole lot of other sectors fighting for a declining share of the online pie.”
Good point, though it is worth noting that videos and movies took a 12% gain, going from 3.5% to 3.9% over the year. If you are an average American Internet user, then you probably consumed somewhere around 3 hours and 15 minutes of online video each month.
What I really want to know is what do they consider gaming? Is FarmVille something that accounts for both social networking via Facebook as well as gaming? Skewed accounting aside, I would also like to know how much of that time is comprised of MMOs, namely World of Warcraft. Also, where’s the porn, or does that get dumped into videos or portals or something?