The UK has come second in a study of European online usage, with users spending an average of 11 hours a week of their time online, but the French are bigger net addicts.
Europeans are now spending 17 per cent more time online compared with 2004, and 56 per cent more compared with the year before. In contrast, TV viewing increased by just 6 per cent year on year, with radio and newspapers rising by 14 per cent and 13 per cent respectively.
Overall, Europeans spend around 10 hours a week on the internet, compared to 8 hours and 45 minutes in 2004, which is an increase of 17 per cent. France came above the UK in the survey by the European Interactive Advertising Association, with an average of 13 hours spent online and 32 per cent above the 16-hour mark.
Italians spend the least time online with an average of only eight hours per week, according to the study, which involved 7,000 random telephone interviews with 1,000 respondents across Europe.
Michael Kleindl, chairman of the EIAA and managing partner of Valkiria Network, said: What is striking about this study is how quickly consumers are becoming such sophisticated internet users. It just goes to show that if you offer excellent content and services, the demand will be there.
This is an important point for marketers to note as the internet is unlike any other media in terms of the sophistication of interaction is offers with consumers.
The EIAA, with the help of SPA and Synovate, interviewed 7,000 people across Europe for its latest piece of research.