comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, has released a study of Web-based email usage in Japan, which showed that the number of visitors to email sites increased 22 percent during the past year, fueled in large part by greater adoption among older Internet users.
“The increase in visitation to email sites has largely been driven by an increase in usage among the older age segments, reflecting the maturation of the Internet as a communication vehicle,” said Maru Sato, managing director of comScore Japan. “As the demographic composition of online users continues to expand, marketers will have the opportunity to reach and influence audiences online that previously were only reachable through offline media.”
An analysis of email usage by age revealed that older age segments were largely responsible for the growth in the email category during the past year. The number of people age 55 and older using Web-based email grew 88 percent during the past year to 7 million users in November and now accounts for more than 20 percent of all visitors to the email site category. This age group spends the most time per person on email sites at 121 minutes per visitor in November, up 11 percent from the prior year. Internet users between the ages of 45-54 also contributed to significant growth in email usage, increasing 20 percent to 5.5 million visitors in November, while their usage increased 108 percent to 108 minutes per visitor.
Though email usage has increased considerably among older age segments, the story is quite different among those under the age of 35. The younger demographic segments either decreased or witnessed very little increase in visits to email sites, which can likely be attributed to a greater reliance on alternate communication channels including social media and accessing email via mobile devices. The most dramatic decline in the email category was observed among the youngest segment, the 15-24 year olds, with 7 percent fewer visitors and a 34-percent decrease in minutes per visitor.