“Look eye! Always look eye!”

This wonderful piece of wisdom, you’ll remember, came from Mr. Miyagi as he was teaching The Karate Kid. I use it to remind myself that broadband is the leading edge in New Media development, and that following broadband trends is the best glimpse of the New Media future. Broadband Internet users are different than dial-up users, and their habits are critical to study. Remember, most broadband users began as dial-up users, so their behaviors are learned.

With that in mind, a new study by the Online Publishers Association takes on added significance. As reported in MediaDailyNews, the all-important 18-to-34-year-old demographic with broadband access spends, on average, 52 percent more time online than its dial-up brethren in the same age group.

The finding represents a 12 percent increase over the average adult broadband user, who spends 40 percent more time online than his dial-up counterparts.

The OPA study notes that the overwhelming majority of broadband 18–34s spend time on content and entertainment sites, rather than with communication tools like email and instant messaging services, or even online shopping. The data shows that whereas 18- to-34-year-old dial-up users tend to use the Internet more as a communications utility, their broadband counterparts use the Internet more as an entertainment and information medium.

Notably, 18- to-34-year-olds with broadband access spent a whopping 96 percent more time on entertainment sites with multimedia and streaming capabilities compared to dial-up users. General News site usage surged 72 percent for broadband versus dial-up users, and weather sites saw a massive 185 percent increase in usage among 18- to-34-year-old broadband users versus dial-up consumers.

This paints a picture of an entirely different Internet for broadband users, and it’s why I practice Mr. Miyagi’s advice. Broadbanders approach everything differently, and they will lead the way into true convergence.

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