Internet users now spend nearly half of their online time visiting content, according to the Online Publishers Association's "Internet Activity Index," conducted by Nielsen//NetRatings.

Time spent with content is up 37% over 2003 levels, the OPA claimed. The Index measures time spent with e-commerce, communications, content and search.

The OPA suggested several reasons for the shift in how Internet users spend their time online. One was that broadband proliferation, coupled with more accessible and faster sites, had increased overall time spent online. Another was that online video's popularity has increased the amount of time users spend with content.

The association also noted that search is better than before. This lets consumers find what they are looking for more quickly. That reduces time spent on search and increases the amount of time devoted to other activities.

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