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Video and mobile use doubles Canadians’ time spent online, research says

When accounting for using mobile devices and watching Internet video, Canadians’ average time spent online is nearly 75 hours a month, or about 2.5 hours a day, according to research by comScore Inc.

FRED LUM/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

As Canadians continue to get hooked on their smartphones, tablets and streaming video they're almost doubling the amount of time they spend online, according to measurement firm comScore.

As of August, there were about 27.8 million Canadian adults accessing the Internet with a computer, comScore reports. On average, they spent almost 39 hours a month browsing the Web with a desktop or laptop.

But when accounting for watching Internet video and using mobile devices, the average time spent online shot up to nearly 75 hours a month, or about 2.5 hours a day.

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"We're seeing extremely large growth," says comScore vice president of sales Bryan Segal.

"It really points to the fact of how much impact – in terms of engagement and time spent – that mobile is having on what we traditionally looked at as a PC world."

Canadians in the 25-to-34 demographic were seen to be spending the most time online, averaging around 110 hours a month across various devices. Only about 50 of those hours were linked to Web browsing on a computer.

The oldest Canadians tracked by comScore, ages 55 and older, were spending just 20 or so hours with a mobile device or streaming video a month. The bulk of their online hours were devoted to web browsing on a computer.

The use of mobile apps is really driving the spike in Canadians' online time, comScore says.

It's estimated that Canadians who own smartphones and tablets are now spending about 43 per cent of their overall online time within an app.

And app usage accounts for over 80 per cent of the time Canadians spend online with a mobile device, versus just 20 per cent spent using a web browser.

Men are slightly more likely to use mobile apps, according to comScore, but women spend more time with their favourite apps. Similarly, men are more likely to use a mobile device's Web browser but women spend more time using it.

As of June, comScore counted 18 million smartphones in Canada (a 12 per cent increase from June 2013) and 7.8 million tablets (up 37 per cent in a year).

About 78 per cent of all Canadians owning a cellphone were using a smartphone, which was second highest among the countries comScore tracks (behind Spain and ahead of the United Kingdom, the United States and Italy).

About 4 per cent of Canadian Internet users – or around 1.3 million people – now strictly use mobile devices to go online and no longer use a laptop or desktop, comScore says.

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