April 22, 2009, 12:00 AM

Hispanics are using the web more, especially for entertainment

The U.S. Hispanic online audience grew 5.8% over the last year versus 3.9% for the total U.S. online audience, a comScore study says.

Growth in the online U.S. Hispanic audience outpaced that of the total U.S. online audience over the past year, in number of visitors, time spent online and pages viewed, with a concentration of activity on entertainment sites, according to new data from comScore Inc.

Between February 2008 and February 2009, the U.S. Hispanic online population grew 5.8% to reach a record 20.3 million visitors, which represents 11% of the total U.S. online market, the report says. By contrast, the total U.S. online audience grew by 3.9% during that same time.

Among Hispanics, the average minutes spent online per day on days they went online was up by 7.7% over last February, in contrast to a 4.4% increase in the U.S. online population.

The growth rate in total pages viewed, total visits and average visits per day online also increased among Hispanics, gaining 6%, 5.4% and 6.1%, respectively. Comparable figures for the total U.S. population show an increase of 1.3% in pages viewed, a decline of 1.8% in total visits and an increase of 1.1% in average visits per day online. In terms of where Hispanics spend time online, the study found that the top-ranked category was teen-focused community sites, where Hispanics accounted for 18% of total time spent on such sites.

Other popular online destinations included gaming information sites and online radio sites, where Hispanics accounted for 13% of the total time spent in each category.

Additionally, Hispanics accounted for 12% of total time spent at multimedia entertainment sites, and 11% of time spent at both retail computer software and retail music sites, according to comScore.

“Though U.S. Hispanics are less engaged Internet users on average, they do show a predilection for communication and entertainment online – high engagement activities that offer a potentially strong marketing opportunity,” says Jack Flannigan, executive vice president of comScore Media Metrix.

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