There are 120 million Internet surfers worldwide,
62 million of them are in America.

Latest 1998 Survey Reports:
62 Million American Adults Currently
Access The Internet/Online Services

Press Release:
AUSTIN, Texas-February 5, 1998-IntelliQuest Information Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: IQST), a leader in providing information-based marketing services to the technology industry, today announced the results of its latest survey of the United States population’s use of the Internet and online services, showing 62 million adults, or 30% of the U.S. population age 16 and older are online as of the fourth quarter of 1997. This represents a 32% growth from the 46.8 million users reported one year ago.

Growth of the online population is anticipated to remain strong, with 7 million adults reporting plans to go online within the next six months. If these people follow through with their intentions, the number of wired U.S. residents could approach 70 million by mid-year. This would amount to a doubling of the online population from when IntelliQuest began studying the medium in the second quarter of 1996.

The fourth quarter marked the first time that Internet/online services users accounted for more than half of computer users, as compared to only 40% one year ago. This increase underscores the growing role of the Internet in users’ business and personal lives. The Internet/PC user percentage is expected to continue to increase as the Internet continues to be integrated into everyday life activities such as communication, shopping and information retrieval.

Another key finding from the study was that online services’ popularity among new users is eroding. One year ago, approximately 70% of users first accessed through an online service, whereas this holds true for only 61% of today’s users. Further, when asked what type of provider they would prefer, users’ and intenders’ first choice of providers was an ISP, followed by their local telephone company and then a commercial online service. Users and intenders based their choice upon their familiarity/comfort/satisfaction levels, as well as cost and convenience.

These results announced today are from the most recent wave of IntelliQuest's Worldwide Internet/Online Tracking Service (WWITSTM), the most comprehensive study of its kind. The study generates in-depth profiles of Internet and online user demographics, usage patterns, brand awareness, satisfaction rates and growth trends.

IntelliQuest’s WWITS study provides leading technology and online companies such as CNET, Compaq, Netscape and Sprint with consistent, longitudinal and highly accurate tracking of the online population. Additional highlights of the findings for the fourth quarter of 1997 include:

  • Home continues to be the most popular access location, with nearly 70% of users accessing from their homes. Many Americans also access from work, with 46% of the online population reporting that they access from work at least some of the time.
  • Users engage in multiple activities while online, with the most popular including sending and receiving email, obtaining information about hobbies, gathering information on products, and/or accessing general news. Nearly half of all users attempt 10 or more activities online while spending at least five hours per week online.
  • Nearly 25% of the current online population first began accessing in 1997. These "newbies" reflect a growth in usage by "middle-America" - they are from older age groups, less highly educated and less frequently from the upper income groups typical of users who have been wired for several years.
  • Although the incidence of online purchasers is fairly stable compared to last year (17% in Q4 1997 vs. 15% in Q4 1996), the actual number of online purchasers has increased by 3.5 million during this timeframe. Users are also spending more online, no doubt due to increased confidence in the safety of the medium as well as increased products and services available. In the fourth quarter of 1997, the median amount spent online in the past 30 days was $100, as compared to only $40 one year ago.
  • While only 17% of users purchase online, almost 60% shop online. The most popular shopping activities include finding information about a product’s price or features, checking on product selection and determining where to purchase a product.

Rigorous Methodology, Unique Focus
The study employs a rigorous random-digit dial (RDD) methodology to develop projectable estimates of both user and non-user populations. IntelliQuest's investments in screening techniques, interviewer skills, and expert methodology design (including participation from market research industry experts and a consultant to the U.S. Census Bureau), have allowed the creation of a study that can estimate the size of the adult Internet and online user population with sampling reliability of +/-1.5%.

The study is unique in its coverage of both users and non-users of the Internet and online services, as well as its coverage of home, business and school usage. While much current industry research focuses on total usage metrics, the WWITS study allows for analysis and projection of differentiated market segments identifiable by demographics, usage patterns or user attitudes.

The study was designed cooperatively with industry vendors who provided initial funding and questionnaire support, and is available to additional business subscribers. In addition to the U.S. study, conducted quarterly, baseline data for online usage is available for France, Germany and the UK.

For more information
Results of IntelliQuest's Worldwide Internet/Online Tracking Service are available on a subscription basis. Full service subscriptions include access to the entire data set through detailed crosstabulations, graphical reports with market findings, and custom analysis. Summarized results are available through IntelliQuest’s Internet Trends Report. This report contains awareness, usage, segmentation, shopping and trend data for all waves of the U.S. WWITS study. For more information on the full subscription of IntelliQuest's Worldwide Internet/Online Tracking Service and the Internet Trends Report call 1-800-711-3753.

Headquartered in Austin, Texas with offices in Atlanta, Georgia, Redwood City, California and London, England, IntelliQuest provides information-based marketing services to the technology industry. IntelliQuest uses its proprietary databases and software to help technology companies track product performance and customer satisfaction, measure advertising effectiveness, assess brand strength and competitive position, determine price sensitivity, and evaluate new products, markets or other business opportunities. IntelliQuest licenses custom proprietary software applications and associated services to technology manufacturers for electronic product registration. Zona Research, a wholly-owned subsidiary of IntelliQuest, provides qualitative and quantitative information and advice to the Internet industry. IntelliQuest has over 400 employees worldwide.

For more information, contact:
Ursula Talley, IntelliQuest Information Group, Inc., 1250 Capital of Texas Highway, Building One, Suite 600, Austin, Texas 78746, (512) 329-0808, fax (512) 329-0888.

Products and company names listed are trademarks or trade names of their respective companies.

© Copyright 1997, IntelliQuest, Inc.

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