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Month-over-month US internet usage generally declined for the second straight month in May 2010, according to data from The Nielsen Company.

Most Usage Metrics Fall
While the average number of sessions per person remained flat at 56 between April and May 2010 and the number of domains visited per person grew 3.6%, from 83 to 86, most other metrics slightly fell. The average number of web pages visited per person declined 3.3%, from 2,545 to 2,460, and average PC time per person dropped 4.6%, from 57 hours, 30 minutes and 51 seconds to 54 hours, 52 minutes and eight seconds.

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In addition, the average duration of a web page viewed shrank 0.5%, from 56 seconds to 55 seconds. The active digital media universe did grow 0.2%, from 197.58 million to 198 million. The current digital media universe estimate also grew 0.1%, from 236.25 million to 236.51 million.

Most Parent Companies Gain Audience, Lose Time
A majority of the top 10 internet parent companies/divisions by unique audience gained audience but lost average time per user on a month-over-month basis in May 2010. Leading parent company Google set the trend with 1.4% unique audience growth to 160.8 million users and 0.5% time reduction to one hour, 57 minutes and two seconds.

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NewsCorp. Online, ranked sixth with a unique audience of 76.1 million, was the only top 10 company to lose both unique audience, which fell 1%, and time, which shrank 4.5% to 49 minutes and 37 seconds. Amazon, ranked 10th with 60.7 million unique users, lost 0.2% of its unique audience but gained 1.1% in time, rising 1.1% to a monthly average of 24 minutes and seven seconds.

Wikimedia Foundation, ranked ninth with a unique audience of 60.9 million, was the only top 10 company to gain in both categories. Unique audience grew 2.4%, while time grew 8.3% to 16 minutes and four seconds.

Web Brands Follow Similar Pattern
The top 10 web brands by unique audience followed a similar usage pattern to the top 10 parent companies in May 2010. Eight of 10 increased their unique audience, and seven of 10 decreased average time per user on a month-over-month basis.

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Once again, Google took the top spot with a unique audience of 153 million, up 2%. Google’s time fell 4.4% to one hour, 12 minutes and 52 seconds.

Two companies increased both their unique audience and average time spent per person between April and May 2010. YouTube, ranked fifth with a unique audience of 97.1 million, increased unique audience 3.2% and time 4.3% to one hour, eight minutes and 40 seconds. Wikipedia, ranked eighth with a unique audience of 60.6 million, increased unique audience 2.3% and time 8.7% to 16 minutes.

Apple, ranked ninth with a unique audience of 60.6 million (equal to Wikipedia after rounding), shrank unique audience 0.9% but increased time 2.5% to one hour, 14 minutes and 30 seconds. Fox Interactive Media, ranked 10th with a unique audience of 58.8 million, shrank unique audience 2.3% and time 4% to 56 minutes and 15 seconds.

US Web Usage Falls Back
Possibly due to improving spring weather, Americans generally engaged with the internet less in April 2010 than they did in March 2010, according to previous Nielsen data. The average number of internet sessions per person dropped 1.8%, from 57 to 56, while the average number of domains visited per person declined 6.7%, from 89 to 83.

In addition, the average American viewed 2,545 web pages in April 2010, down 3.8% from 2,646 the previous month. Average PC time per person declined 4.8%, from 60 hours, 25 minutes and seven seconds to 57 hours, 30 minutes and 51 seconds, while average duration of a web page viewed declined 0.9% but remained flat at 56 seconds after rounding.

The active digital media universe shrank 0.1%, from 197.7 million users to 197.6 million users. The current digital media universe estimate stood at 236.2 million users, down 0.3% from 236.8 million users.

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