Survey Measures Size of Internet Audience

Roughly 5.8 million people in the U.S. have direct access to the Internet, according to "Defining the Internet Opportunity," a market research study conducted by O'Reilly & Associates'Online Research Group and Trish Information Services."This number, while surprising to some, d'esn't diminish the Internet's importance as a place to do business," says Dick Peck, O'Reilly's vice president of business development, notingthat just three years ago, virtually no market existed.Internet users were defined as U.S. residents over 18 who have direct access to the Internet and use e-mail as well as one or more Net-specific tools (FTP, gopher, telnet or a Webbrowser). Individuals who connected to the Internet through a commercial online service (such as CompuServe) were excluded.Those households with Internet access tended to include an average of 1.53 users. The survey also suggested that the total online community (including users of commercial services)will grow by an additional 6 million U.S. adults over the next year.Sponsors of the study include International Thomson Publishing, IBM, Lotus Development, Turner Broadcasting Systems/CNN, MCI/News Corp. Online Ventures and E.M. Warburg,Pincus & Co. Besides the publicly released findings, each sponsor received answers to proprietary questions, extensive demographic cross-tabulations and corporate briefings.Details of the study are posted on O'Reilly's Web site:

This article originally appeared in the 10/01/1995 issue of THE Journal.