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Snow Biz: Four-Fifths of Americans Logged Online for Entertainment to Beat the Winter Blues
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Snow Biz: Four-Fifths of Americans Logged Online for Entertainment to Beat the Winter Blues

During the bitter cold-spell sweeping much of the U.S. this winter, more Americans than usual turned to the Internet for entertainment. Four out of five U.S. web users access entertainment websites each month, and this January, 167 million Americans visited sites in the entertainment category. On average, these web users spent more than 7.5 hours surfing entertainment sites in January, up nearly half an hour from the monthly average.

While entertainment sites account for 1 in 5 minutes spent online, personal interests decide which websites keep Americans entertained. YouTube was January’s most popular entertainment destination, with 111 million unique visitors to its website during the month. And many YouTube visitors returned often, averaging 12 visits to browse for their daily dose of web videos. Meanwhile, 36 million media lovers accessed the iTunes application, and 29 million surfed IMDb to look up info about their favorite films. During the run-up to Super Bowl XLVIII, three sports brands (FoxSports.com, Yahoo Sports, and ESPN Digital Network) each drew crowds of more than 20 million unique visitors to their websites. 

Top 10 Entertainment Websites by Unique Audience in January 2014

Rank Website Unique Audience Time Per Person (hh:mm:ss)
N/A Entertainment category 167,002,000 7:38:03
1 YouTube 110,699,000 1:52:31
2 iTunes (application) 36,063,000 1:08:49
3 Comcast Digital Entertainment Websites 33,421,000 0:53:42
4 IMDb – Internet Movie Database 29,258,000 0:20:39
5 FOXSports.com on MSN (Network) 27,303,000 0:17:51
6 Netflix 27,055,000 0:52:05
7 Yahoo Sports Websites 26,811,000 0:21:59
8 VEVO 23,587,000 0:11:34
9 ESPN Digital Network 23,139,000 1:11:05
10 Yahoo Celebrity Websites 22,615,000 0:10:10
Read as: During January 2014, 110 million unique visitors accessed YouTube’s website in the U.S. and spent 1 hour 52 minutes on average surfing the site.
Source: Nielsen NetView.

More digital activity continues to shift between smartphones and desktop computers. Overall, 198 million Americans accessed the web on their computers in January, down 5 percent from the same month a year earlier. Still, this translates to seven out of 10 Americans surfing the web using a computer browser in the first month of the year. And average time spent grew to 29 hours 43 minutes per person during the month, up from 29 hours 10 minutes a year ago.

Among web brands, Google once again claimed the top spot with 156 million Americans visiting its website in January 2014, while visitors to Facebook spent the most time, averaging 7.5 hours per person.

Top 10 Web Brands by Unique Audience in January 2014

Rank Website Unique Audience Time Per Person (hh:mm:ss)
1 Google 156,397,000 2:02:30
2 Facebook 122,545,000 7:32:34
3 Yahoo 121,780,000 2:03:25
4 MSN/WindowsLive/Bing 117,895,000 1:20:35
5 YouTube 110,699,000 1:52:31
6 Microsoft 82,977,000 0:52:15
7 Amazon 82,026,000 0:43:35
8 AOL Media Network 81,132,000 1:55:00
9 Wikipedia 65,183,000 0:28:20
10 Ask Search Network 59,177,000 0:15:07
Read as: During January 2014, 156 million unique visitors accessed Google’s website in the U.S. and spent an average of 2 hours 2 minutes per person surfing the site.
Source: Nielsen NetView.