April 19, 2004, 12:00 AM

Affluent consumers driving up use of broadband, study says

Broadband Internet access grew 31% year-over-year in March among online consumers with household incomes of $150,000 and up, Nielsen/NetRatings reports. EMarketer suggests web search as a way to market to the growing online Hispanic population.

Paul Demery

Managing Editor, B2B E-commerce

Broadband Internet access grew 31% year-over-year in March among online consumers with household incomes of $150,000 and up, to 7.9 million from 6 million, Nielsen/NetRatings reports.

Following are the number of broadband access users as of March 2004 and percentages of year-to-year increases for other household income groups:
-- $75,000 - $99,999, 26.4 million users, 27%
-- $100,000 - $149,999, 17.8 million, 24%
-- $0 - $24,999, 9.4 million, 18%
-- $25,000 - $49,999, 37.8 million, 14%
-- $50,000 - $74,999, 42.5 million, 11%.

In a separate report, eMarketer Inc. found that there will be more than 13 million Hispanic users of the Internet in the U.S. by the end of this year, or 7.6% of all web users in the U.S. The 13.3 million this year will represent an increase of 7% from 12.4 million in 2003.

The study projects that the number of Hispanic users of the Internet in the U.S. will rise to 14.1 million in 2005, 15.1 million in 2006 and 16 million in 2007.

"As more and more Hispanic consumers go online, marketers using the Internet advertising can better target them and measure their actions, compared with what is allowed by traditional ad media," eMarketers senior analyst David Hallerman says. "A great way to start marketing to Hispanics online, going beyond the obvious demographic targeting, is to use paid search – since it allows you to reach Hispanics who are already expressing an interest in your product or service."

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