60 Key Facts about South America’s Internet Market

This post is also available in: Spanish

Recently comScore and other sources have published data about the online markets of several South American countries, including Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Uruguay and Venezuela. We went through the results and distilled the essential facts for each market so that professionals in media, advertising and marketing can optimize their digital ad campaigns in these countries.

Common Ground
Before going into detail with data for specific countries, it’s important to note certain similarities found in South America’s online market.

#1 Most South American Internet users are young. On average, nearly 80% of South American Internet users are between 15 and 44 years old. In all the countries, Internet users between 15 and 24 are the largest subgroup and represent between 29% and 39% of the total.

#2 Social media rules. Social media takes up the majority of the time online spent by Internet users in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela.

#3 Most traffic goes to 5 key site categories. Aside from social media, the website categories that take up the most time of South American Internet users are entertainment, services, portals and multimedia.

#4 Facebook dominates the social scene. While it’s no surprise that Facebook is hugely popular in these markets, one striking data point is that South American Internet users spend more or less 90% of their time on social sites on Facebook. This suggests that campaigns on other social sites—which in total take up around 10% of the total time that South Americans spend on social media—are much less likely to reach the average Internet user, although they may deliver some good results with specific segments.

#5 New social sites are coming up. A number of new social sites are growing powerfully in South America, such as Change.org, MeetMe and Vostu. That said, it’s important to note that none of them have the traffic to seriously challenge the established giants like Facebook, at least not in the foreseeable future.

#6 Online banking and shopping are gaining ground. South American online markets are showing significant growth in terms of the use of both banking sites and also retail sites. Users in South America also seem to favor similar types of retail sites, including those for furniture, food, fragrances/cosmetics, movies and clothes.


  • There’s an even split in gender among Argentine Internet users: 50% are men, 50% are women
  • Each Argentine Internet users spends an average of 22 hours per month online: Brazilians are the only South Americans to spend more time online than Argentines, with 33 hours per user per month
  • 95% of Argentine Internet users visit news sites compared to the global rate of 79%
  • Argentina is #3 in the world in terms of the amount of hours each of its internautas spends on social media: 9 hours per month, with Italy at #2 (9.5 hours/month) and Brazil at #1 (13 hours per month)
  • 50% of Argentines visit sports sites, a higher percentage than that of Latin America (44%) and the global average (39%)
  • In terms of targeting, it’s helpful to note that the 3 segments that spend the highest average amount of minutes per month on sports sites in Argentina are men between 25 and 34 (95 min), men aged 35-44 (77 min) and women between 25 and 34 (62 min)
  • Ole.com was the leading sports site in Argentina between 2012 and 2013, followed by Fútbol Sites, Yahoo Sports, ESPN and Tycsports.com
  • Nearly 96% of Argentine Internet users visit online video sites, the highest percentage of all of Latin America
  • Nearly 8% of the online traffic in Argentina is from mobile devices and Android is the leading OS, with 62% of the market

Source: comScore


  • Women make up a little more of Chile’s online population than men: 50.1% vs. 49.9%
  • Education sites have 47% reach in Chile, larger than the global average of 38% and about the same as all of Latam (49%)
  • The segment that spends the most time on education sites in Chile are men between 25 and 34 (20 minutes per person per month) and women between 25 and 34 (19 minutes per person)
  • Nearly 92% of Chilean Internet users watch online videos and watch an average of 119 videos per person per month, more than Internet users in Argentina or Mexico
  • Google leads the online video market in Chile, followed by Vevo, Viacom and Facebook
  • Nearly 13% of the online traffic in Chile is from mobile devices and only México (with 14% of its online traffic coming from mobile devices) surpasses Chile in this regard
  • Android has a market share of 70% of Chile’s mobile market, while iOS is a distant second at 22%

Source: comScore


  • Colombia’s online population is Split nearly evenly down the middle between women (50.1%) and men (49,9%)
  • 63% of Colombian Internet users recall the online ads they see: the formats they recall the most are videos and posts from brands, as well as app ads, games and expandable banners
  • 70% of Colombian Internet users have gone on line in the past 3 months and 78% go online every day
  • The large majority of Colombian Internet users go online from their homes (89%) but 26% go online from public transportation, 19% while walking in the street and 13% while driving
  • Colombian Internet users combine using the Internet with various activities, including watching TV, listening to the radio and talking on the phone
  • Among the site categories with strong growth in Colombia between 2012 and 2013 are car sites (48%), telecommunications sites (35%), airline sites (19%) and banks (32%)

Sources: comScore, IAB Colombia


  • Peru’s Internet audience grew by 15% between 2012 and 2013, higher than Latin America in general (13%), North America (2%), Europe (5%) and Asia (6%)
  • Peruvians spend an average of nearly 21 hours per month per person online, a comparable figure to the Latin American average (24 hours) and close to the global average (22.8 hours)
  • There are more male Peruvian Internet users (55.6%) than female (44.4%)
  • Peru is among the top 5 countries in the world in terms of its social media use
  • Among the site categories with the most growth in Peru between 2012 and 2013 were banking (46%), car sites (14%) telecommunications sites (5%) y airline sites (4%)

Source: comScore


  • Nearly 4 out of 5 Uruguayans live in a home with at least 1 computer
  • Internet penetration in Uruguay is at 71%
  • Among Uruguayans between 12 and 17, Internet penetration is at 97%, while it’s at 89% for those 20-29, 86% for those 30-39 and 70% for those 40-49
  • 33% of Uruguayan Internet users go online with mobile phones or tablets, an increase of 13% compared to 2012
  • 16% of Uruguayan Internet users are online for 11 to 20 hours per week and 10% are online for more than 30 hours per week
  • 65% of Uruguayan Internet users go online between 1 and 20 hours per week
  • The main online activities for Uruguayan Internet users are searching for information (82%), social media (78%), downloading music (63%), email (63%), reading news (63%) and looking for information about brands or products (60%)
  • The amount of blogs in Uruguay dropped by 40,000 between 2012 and 2013
  • Only 2% of Uruguayan Internet users regularly comment about brands online and 85 read online comments about brands
  • 53% of Uruguayan Internet users like the advertising on social media
  • 49% of Uruguayan Internet users can’t go online with their mobile phones compared to the 31% that can and do so
  • 25% of Uruguayan Internet users have purchased a product over the Internet in the past year
  • The most popular products among Uruguayans who engage in e-commerce are PC accessories, appliances, clothes and furniture

Source: Grupo Radar


  • 53% of Venezuelan Internet users are men and 47% are women
  • The amount of Venezuelans who use social media went up by 8% between 2012 and 2013
  • Facebook is the most popular social site in Venezuela (7 million unique visitors), followed by Twitter (2.5 million) and LinkedIn (1.3 million)
  • The social sites with the most growth in Venezuela during the past year are MeetMe (495%), Vostu (396%), Change.org (137%), FSBX (122%) and Ask.fm (106%)
  • Facebook takes up nearly 88% of the time that Venezuelans spend on social media sites, followed by Ask.fm (6%) and Tumblr (3%)
  • Among the web site categories that have grown the most in terms of visitors are retail sites (61%), banking (73%) and government (41%)

Source: comScore

To reach South American Internet users with an online ad campaign customized to your target, please contact us.

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