Consumers see the internet as primarily a business tool for getting things done rather than a place to spend their leisure time, according to survey results released last Wednesday by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) - a respected UK management consultancy. Few consumers are adopting the broadband technologies that might make entertainment online more attractive, PwC said.

The survey of 2,500 consumers in the US, UK, Germany, France and Australia showed that the percentage of consumers going online primarily for entertainment averaged 4 percent - and considerably less than that percentage in Australia and rather more in the US, PwC said in the survey's summary.

Nine out of 10 home internet users are primarily interested in researching information or sending and receiving email.

The recent failures of several online entertainment companies demonstrate that the business models for online entertainment are not fully developed. In order to make the internet a viable alternative source for entertainment, broadband access must increase in hand with more compelling content, PwC said.

Consumers surveyed in the five countries mentioned entertainment merely as a subsidiary reason for accessing the internet.

Results showed that 51 percent of Americans mentioned entertainment, such as playing games or streaming music, compared to 42 percent in Australia, 45 percent in the U.K, 46 percent in France and 40 percent in Germany, among their online activities.

The cost associated with broadband access is the main reason consumers are not using these methods. Consumers also feel that these faster, more expensive methods are not needed, as they are satisfied with their current Internet connections, according to the PwC survey.