BARCELONA: Almost 50% of Europe's internet audience engage in simultaneous media use, part of a wider trend towards using more connected devices and conducting greater number of activities online.

IAB Europe, the industry body, stated that 426.9m people across the continent currently utilise the web, a penetration of 65%. This group dedicated 14.8 hours to the net per week.

Based on data from 50,000 interviews, it was also found that 64% of the internet population use a PC to access this channel, while 21% did so via a mobile phone.

The latter activity enjoyed the highest uptake in the UK, Norway and Sweden, at around 40%, and among 16–24 year olds, where penetration hit 30%.

More broadly, 37% of people log on through at least two devices. Computer users did so for 13.3 hours a week, versus 9.4 hours for mobile phones, 9.3 hours for tablets and 6.8 hours for consoles.

Simultaneous media use is similarly growing, with 48% of the 50,000-strong panel going online while watching TV, and 16% of all time spent viewing TV occurs in tandem with web usage.

One third of people who pursue this pastime often undertake online tasks which are related to programming content, the report found.

Equally, however, many roles previously served by traditional channels are transferring to the web, as 91% of Europeans read the news online, standing at 73% for watching broadcast material and 67% for listening to the radio.

"It's no longer appropriate or sensible to think of 'using the internet' as a specific and isolated activity," Alison Fennah, vice president, research and marketing at IAB Europe, said.

Elsewhere, 96% of users research products online, 87% buy items, and 19% reported "all their shopping" is made up of ecommerce purchases.

The average ecommerce customer spends €544 every six months, hitting €1,162 in Norway, €919 in Switzerland and €894 in Denmark.

For 51% of participants, the web helped them choose better products, while 47% were "inclined" to find out more about offerings they saw advertised on this medium.

An additional 46% of the sample frequently visited the website of their favourite brand, and 30% were "more likely" to buy something from a company they followed on a social networking site.

Data sourced from IAB Europe; additional content by Warc staff