Internet and TV now tied in popularity

New research released on Monday by Forrester shows that the average U.S. consumer now spends as much time online as he or she does watching television. This is the first year in Forrester’s survey that people have reported spending equal amounts of time, 13 hours per week, on the two differing activities.

The Internet has not taken time away from TV, though. TV numbers have actually risen some fiver percent over five years, whereas Internet use has risen 121 percent in that time. The activities that are being hit are radio, reading (likely replaced by reading online) and possibly anything to do with the outdoors.

Forrester’s research explains the woes in the newspaper industry. During that same five-year period, reading of print newspapers has dropped 26 percent and reading printed-on-paper magazines has dropped 18 percent, according to the report, which surveyed about 30,000 U.S. consumers.

What exactly are people doing online? 92 percent use email. 60 percent of those surveyed shop online. 50 percent share photos and video with friends and family. And 35 percentuse social networking services.

One thing that’s unclear from the survey: did these consumers answer that using streaming video on their TVs place that in the Internet bucket or the TV bucket? Either way, the trend is clear, and the next such survey should show the Internet topping TV.

We’ve heard that from some as well: they’d rather cut TV than the Web, if given the choice.

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