Although men currently spend more time on the Internet, women in Europe increased their web usage at a faster rate than their male counterparts in the past three years, according to a report published by the European Interactive Advertising Association's Mediascope Europe unit.
On average, men spent 11 hours per week online last year compared to women who spent nine hours per week. Over the past three years men increased Internet use by 54 percent, while women's use rose 63 percent, the report said.
In the last year, TV consumption among European women increased 12 percent, while magazine readership fell 4.5 percent. That shift in media consumption makes the Internet Europe's fastest-growing medium according to the report.
"Advertisers need to recognize how women's use of different media is evolving and the way in which they are interacting with the Internet is becoming increasingly integrated into their lifestyle through blogging, eCommerce and instant messaging," the report said.
The age group with the highest increase in Internet use is 16 to 24 -- and includes young professionals and women with children. The use of the Internet among young professional women increased 116 percent, more than double its growth in 2003. Women with children use the Internet 14 percent more than women outside of this group in Europe.
The results were compiled from 7,000 random telephone interviews (conducted between September and October 2005) with 1,000 respondents in the U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Italy and the Nordic countries, and 500 respondents in Belgium and the Netherlands.