Streamies Proven Early Adopters, E-Shoppers

The Internet broadcast audience is growing, and users are more likely to be early adopters of technology than the rest of the U.S. online population, according to an extensive joint report on multimedia usage by Arbitron and Edison Media Research.

The biannual study, culled from interviews with more than 2,000 of Arbiton’s survey diarykeepers in July 2003, is evidence that the Internet has become a viable medium for audio and video content, reporting that 50 million have listened or viewed online broadcasts within the month prior to the survey, and 30 million use Internet broadcasts weekly.

While 80 percent of Americans now have Internet access – up 5 percent from January 2003 – the study found that 11 percent consider themselves to be among the first to try or buy new products or services. The ratio jumps to 20 percent among those who have watched or listened to an Internet broadcast in the last week resulting in a highly desirable – and accessible – market.


Who Are the Monthly
Internet Broadcast Users?
Teens 15%
18-24 15%
25-34 20%
35-44 23%
45-54 15%
55-64 8%
65+ 4%
Male 57%
Female 43%
Source: Arbitron/Edison Media Research

The study reveals that while fewer Americans are likely to click on banner ads, 60 percent would be amenable to watching short commercials that play before an online video, suggesting that marketers adopt new online advertising strategies. The report finds that Internet consumers have consistently indicated that they are willing to watch to commercials in exchange for compelling content.

Larry Rosin, president, Edison Media Research, notes that the prevalence of pop-up ads is a contributing factor to their annoyance level, so not surprisingly, 65 percent of those surveyed found pop-up ads to be the most annoying type of Internet advertising, followed by email at 9 percent. More than one-third currently use a spam-blocking program, and one-quarter have deployed a pop-up ad blocker.


Those Who Have Clicked on a Banner Ad
in the Last Month
July 2003 12%
July 2002 14%
July 2001 16%
July 2000 30%
Source: Arbitron/Edison Media Research

Bill Rose, general manager and vice president, Arbitron Internet Broadcast Services, says that banner ads will be around for a while longer but new Internet advertising standards will emerge. He says that Internet audio is less intrusive, as users surf the Web while listening to commercials, and it also allows listeners to opt-in, making them more valuable to marketers.

The Internet broadcast audience exhibits high purchasing power, as the report cites a Scarborough Research consumer index that reveals that monthly Internet broadcast users – or “streamies” – are 260 percent more likely to have bought computer hardware online in the past year than the average U.S. consumer, and 134 percent more likely to upgrade their hardware in the next year.

Monthly streamies were also 131 percent more likely to have shopped Amazon.com in the three months prior to the survey; 116 percent more likely to be in a household that uses home computer banking; 41 percent more likely to have a postgraduate degree; and 31 percent more likely to own a home with a market value above $500,000. The Arbitron/Edison study revealed that 59 percent of monthly streamies booked or purchased personal hotel or airline products, compared to 36 percent of the total U.S. online population.

Both Rosin and Rose urge the movie industry to capitalize on the 17 million Americans who have watched a movie trailer online in the month prior to the survey. Of those who watch movie trailers online, 46 percent turn to the Internet to learn about new films, ahead of TV at 30 percent.


The State of Streaming, U.S.
All Streamies Monthly Streamies Weekly Streamies
How many? 108 million 50 million 30 million
% of population, 12+ 45% 21% 13%
% of those online 57% 27% 16%
Have broadband at home? 39% 50% 57%
Time online per day 1 hour, 42 minutes 2 hours 2 hours, 22 minutes
Source: Arbitron/Edison Media Research

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