Content Cedes To Commerce In November

Consumers spent a smaller share of their Web-surfing time at content-related sites this November-- and more at e-commerce sites--than in October, according to data released Monday by the Online Publishers Association.

For November, online shopping sites such as eBay accounted for 17 percent of time spent online--up from 15.8 percent the previous month. The November figure represented a marginal decline from November 2003, when Web surfers spent 17.1 percent of online time at e-commerce sites.

The proportion of time spent at Web sites devoted to news, entertainment, and other content--which surpassed the share of time spent at all other types of sites in September and October--declined to 38.7 percent in November, coming in behind communications-related sites, which captured 40.1 percent of consumers' time. Still, year-to-year, content sites gained in both share of online time (from 34.6 percent) and total hours spent online (from three hours and 45 minutes to four hours and 26 minutes).

The share of time consumers spent visiting e-mail or other communications sites jumped slightly from 39.8 percent in October to 40.1 percent last month, while the share of time at search engines held steady at 4.3 percent. Year-over-year, the percentage of time spent at communications sites dropped from 44.5 percent, while the proportion of search time increased from 3.8 percent.

The Online Publishers Association compiled its monthly report using data from Nielsen//NetRatings.