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June 05, 2001

The survey indicated a 55-45 percentage spilt in the composition of male and female Internet surfers in April 2001, which represents about 462,000 males surfers and 380,000 women Internet users in Singapore. The male Internet users spent slightly more time on the Internet than their female counterparts. In April, each male surfer spent an average of 9.4 hours on the Internet whereas the female Internet users were connected for about 9.0 hours. Comparatively, the male surfers connected to the Internet about twice a day and viewed about 12% more unique pages than the female Internet users during the referenced month.

Despite the difference, findings indicated that Singaporean women are spending more and more time on the Internet. "In fact, the women were connected for about 1.4 hours longer in April compared to January 2001. Men on the other hand showed an 8% decline in Internet usage time over the same period," said Dr. Jack Loo, Country Manager, NetValue (Singapore).

"The number of unique pages viewed by the male Internet users has remained somewhat stable since January 2001. The number of displays downloaded by the female Internet users, on the other hand, has increased by about 37%, from 294.1 to 402.7 unique pages from January to April 2001, respectively. Additionally, they have registered about 18% more sessions since January 2001," said Dr. Jack Loo.

"Women represent a lucrative market for advertisers and retailers online. Compared to the past, women now have higher spending power and are more IT savvy. The Internet is certainly an important media to reach out to this growing audience," said Miss Florence Oong, Research Director (South-East Asia), OMD.

Relying Purely On Web-Surfing Behavior Is Risky

"Non-web activities (like audio-video, chat, instant messaging, email, games, secured connections, etc) constitute about 60% of what Singaporean Internet users do online. Knowing the full extent of Internet behavior enables media strategists to develop the appropriate marketing and communications mix to drive online visitorship. We rely on NetValue's data because it is able to provide the complete account of web as well as non-web activities. Investing in online strategies based only on web-surfing behavior is risky," said Florence Oong.

Men and women Internet users utilized slightly different patterns of web-surfing behavior as well as the usage of non-web protocols (like audio-video, chat, instant messaging, email, games, secured connections, etc) as indicated in the table below. In April, men surfed the web for about 12 days of the month whereas women were connected to the web for about 10.9 days during the same period. Men also spent more time gaming online. "In fact, 38.5 megabytes of files per male Internet user were downloaded via their games applications compared to 2.7 megabytes per female Internet user. It is obvious online gaming is more popular with the men than women," said Dr. Jack Loo.

"Having a deeper understanding of various target audience's web and non-web activities would help us go beyond the banner buys and increase our level of interaction between advertisers and internet users. NetValue's data on the non-web protocols helps us to develop more interactive and innovation online advertising media solutions," said Miss Anita Yeong, OMDi Media Director.

Younger Women On The Net

Women Internet users were relatively younger in age compared to their male counterparts. About 43.4% of the former were aged 24 years and below compared to about 34.8% for the male group. "The composition of the young Internet users declined since the beginning of the year. In January 2001, the young male and female segments constituted 36.2% and 46.5% of the Internet population," said Dr. Jack Loo.

The professionals, managers, executives and businessmen constituted the single largest category of the occupational grouping. Students also made up a significant proportion of the overall visitorship. "Interestingly, the proportion of the non-working female group has increased from 9.3% to 13.9% between January and April 2001, respectively. It is possible that the Internet is also catching up with the homemakers," said Dr. Jack Loo.

Men Love Sports And Women Love To Communicate Online

Men and women display different interests and e-lifestyles over the web. NetValue's finding indicated that men has a high affinity for sports content while women prefers to communicate online. "You are 1.32 times more likely to find a male surfer at the sports site (e.g., scoocernet.com, wwf.com, espn.com) and about 1.28 times more likely to find a female surfer at sites offering E-cards (e.g., bluemountain.com, passthison.com)," said Dr. Jack Loo.

Figures can be published with specific mention: "NetValue copyright" or "Source: NetValue". For guidelines of how to use NetValue data, please visit www.netvalue.com/corp/guide.htm

Terms used

Displays/Unique Pages: Are total number of pages displayed by an Internet user, whether downloaded from a site or originating from cache memories or proxy server.

Duration per visitor: Is the length of time (in minutes) spent by an Internet user on pages from a domain or property in the month.

Session: Is the length of time the Internet is used without a break of more than 10 minutes.

For more information at http://www.netvalue.com.

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