Wealthy Americans fuelling internet growth: Nielsen survey

MUMBAI: This is a happy news for US advertisers, who are wondering about the efficacy of the net!

Nielsen NetRatings' latest survey shows that affluent Americans are the fastest growing income group online. Surfers with total household income of $150,000 and higher grew 31 per cent year-over-year to nearly 7.9 million individuals.


Those earning between $75,000-100,000 increased to 26.4 million in March 2004, as compared to 20.7 million a year ago. Internet users with upper incomes ranging from $100,000-150,000 rose by 24 per cent since March 2003.

While in India Reliance is talking about realising the dream of Broadband Bharat, the survey says that broadband adoption rates in the US are highest among the affluent surfers. Broadband surfers made up 69 per cent of the total audience for those with incomes of $150,000 and above, as compared to 31 per cent accessing through the dial-up route.

As income levels go down so also does the use of broadband. Those earning between $100,000-$150,000 showed a 61:39 split in favour of high speed. Due to the expenses incurred, broadband consumption is much less for those who make less than $25,000. Just 25 per cent access the net through cable, DSL or other high speed connections.

Nielsen noted that while broadband had become much less expensive over the past few years, it is still a significant cost as compared to narrowband. When you combine the cost of high-speed access with other utility expenses, households with tight budgets simply would not be able to afford the luxury of having broadband.

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