The internet will overtake traditional television to become the most consumed form of media in 2010, providing current trends continue.

This is the conclusion of a new report from Microsoft, which shows that consumers will be spending an average of 14.2 hours on the web next year.

By comparison, an average of 11.5 hours a week will be spent watching television as more consumers catch up on programmes online.

The research shows that among 18 to 24-year-olds, more than one in four regularly watch television online, while one in seven never watch live TV.

Microsoft points out that this shift in consumer behaviour is shaping the advertising landscape, with internet marketing become a more popular platform.

"It is clear that people are willing to accept digital advertising as a price for free content and services across multiple platforms," the company stated.

Research carried out recently by accountants KPMG revealed that 60 per cent of internet users would rather watch an online advert in exchange for free content than pay for the content.

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