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One in four U.S. Internet users 'snacked' on entertainment news in May

July 1, 2009 | 12:39 pm
Snack 
Snacking on celebrity gossip online is on the rise. Credit: swanksalot via Flickr.

Skip the vending machines. More Americans are grazing online for entertainment news at work than last year, according to a report released today from Web research firm comScore.

About 55 million people in the U.S., or roughly one in four Internet users, visited at least one entertainment news site in May, up 7% from a year earlier, the report said. Half of the time spent on such sites occur at work.

"Americans are feeding their hunger for celebrity gossip by ‘snacking’ on these news updates throughout the workday," said Jack Flanagan, comScore's executive vice president.

Top sites benefiting from this fascination with Hollywood stars include Yahoo's omg!, TMZ, People, USMagazine and Entertainment Weekly.

In all, Americans spent 15 million hours online stargazing. Impressive as that may be, the number for June is likely to skyrocket, after millions of fans surged online to read news about Michael Jackson's death, nearly crippling some online services, such as AOL's Instant Messaging, and flooding sites such as Facebook and Twitter with traffic.

-- Alex Pham

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