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The internet is causing people in Europe to spend less time watching TV, according to new market research. In a report entitled "Evolution of Media Use in Europe - Web Impacting Consumption", JupiterResearch said that 27 per cent of web users in Europe are spending less time in front of the telly and are instead surfing the web. In 2001, only 17 per cent of respondents to a similar survey admitted to watching fewer hours of TV in favour of the net.

The report covered six of the biggest economies in Europe, including Germany, Sweden and Italy. JupiterResearch concluded that the internet was having the greatest negative impact on TV consumption in the UK, France and Spain. "In these markets higher broadband penetration is a key driver of cannibalisation as broadband users tend to spend more time online compared with dial-up users," Jupiter said.

In fact, the report revealed that in Western Europe an average of 40 per cent of broadband users said they spend less time watching TV since using the web. In the long term, the impact of high-speed internet could become more apparent as broadband penetration in Western Europe grows from 19 per cent currently to 37 per cent in 2009.

In other parts of the report, Jupiter noted that Europe's traditional newspapers will also face turbulent times, with 18 per cent of internet users in the survey admitting they spend less time reading papers. In 2001, that figure was 13 per cent.

"Year-on-year we are continuing to see a seismic shift in where, when and how Europe's population consumes media for information and entertainment and this has big implications for TV, newspaper and radio," comments JupiterResearch analyst and author of the report Olivier Beauvillian.

"Newspapers in particular need to identify how they can re-engage with this group, using their websites to attract a younger audience and focusing on the fundamental changes in online programming required to support this," added Beauvillian.

© ENN

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