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Hand in Hand

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When it comes to surfing the Internet and watching TV, consumers have demonstrated great dexterity, with one hand on the mouse and the other on the TV remote control. According to New York-based PricewaterhouseCoopers' "Global Entertainment & Media Outlook: 2001-2005," 25 million people in the year 2000 logged on to the Internet while watching TV, a figure that is up from 18 million in 1999.

Analysts attribute the convergence of user/viewer habits to the increase of TV programs linking on-air and online content, and note that far from the two mediums becoming "competitive" (as some predicted), the two media platforms have instead become "compatible."

The report supports recent Nielsen Media Research/Nielsen NetRatings convergence research that also showed a harmonious relationship between TV viewers and Web users. [IQ Morning Briefing, July 25, 2001]. In that study, 24 percent of all of the time participating panel members spent on the Net was also spent tuned to the TV. The study also found that close to 70 percent of all panel members had surfed the Web at least once while they were tuned to their TVs and that heavy Internet users watched 19 percent more TV than people who did not use the Web, even though they had access.