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Streaming More Mainstream

  |  April 15, 2004   |  Comments

Audio and video Internet usage grew through 2003 and the first quarter of 2004, with music and news as the stream leaders.

Audio and video Internet streams [define] are becoming more commonplace, as AccuStream iMedia Research reports increased usage during 2003 and the first quarter of 2004.

"...streaming media is very much mainstream content now. Audiences over the years have become very educated, there is more residential broadband, there have been so many huge news events, from the JFK Jr. crash to the War in Iraq, that continue to drive up usage. Moreover, there is simply more programming available that appeals to mainstream audiences...," Paul Palumbo, founder and research director for AccuStream iMedia Research, says.

Video streams served during January and February 2004 by the top ten sites averaged 523 million, compared to 292 million in 2003. AccuStream iMedia Research noted a 104 percent video stream growth spurt in 2003, with expectations of another 28 percent in 2004. Music video captured the largest share of the streaming audience in 2003, followed closely by news.

Palumbo comments on the stream leaders: "Music and news have been very close for several years. News is always a big category, because there is so much breaking news that takes place at work, and people click in to find out what's happening. News is always going to be a top category, considering the office demographic and high speed access."

Streaming Video Content
Comparison, 2003
Category Share
Music 33%
News 28%
Sports 17%
Film 11%
Internet TV 6%
General Entertainment 5%
Source: AccuStream iMedia Research

The research firm also found aggregate tuning hours for Internet radio were up by 118 percent in 2004, with the top ten sites averaging 137.5 million during the first two months of the year, compared to 63 million in 2003.

Ken Dardis, president of Audio Graphics, Inc. expects online radio usage to increase with awareness, which can come as a result of industry-wide promotion.

"Online radio stations are far behind in promoting the industry. If we make the industry shine, everyone gets a chance to glow in its shadow." Dardis continues, "The industry will be a real force once media buyers understand the quality of audience."

According to an Audio Graphics, Inc. mid-2003 survey of more than 1,000 Internet radio users, just over 40 percent spent 1 to 3 hours listening, while roughly 47 percent spent more than 3 hours listening. More than half (52.7 percent) of the 2,049 respondents to an early 2004 survey placed Windows Media Player at the top of their lists, followed by Winamp Player (20.2 percent); Realnetworks Media Player (6.8 percent); and Quicktime/iTunes Player (4.6 percent).

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