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August 27, 1998


By CBR Staff Writer

The number of net users over 16 in Canada and the US has reached 79 million, up 36% from 58 million in September 1997, a Nielsen Media Research and CommerceNet study has found. The findings also suggest that 20 million people are buying products and services via the web. The study is based on statistics collected in June 1998. For the first time, researchers found that half the population between 16 and 34 are online. More surprisingly, 17% of people aged 50 or more are now internet users. 43% of internet users are women, but most online shoppers are men. The net population figure contrasts strikingly with that established by rival market research org eMarketer (CI No 3,448). eMarketer discounts large numbers of net users included by other studies, on the grounds that they don’t access the net regularly. Neilsen is of course most famous for its work in television ratings. An entirely passive audience must make a lot of sense to them.

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