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Nielsen//NetRatings Announces Usage of Top Internet Media Players

Nielsen//NetRatings revealed November usage data for the top Internet media players: Real Player, Quick Time and Windows Media Player.

Nielsen//NetRatings also unveiled the connection speeds the U.S. Web population uses to access the Internet, which provide important insights into the evolution of streaming media technology and applications.

According to November data from Nielsen//NetRatings' Internet Media Strategies service, Real Player garnered the majority of the usage with a reach of 12.1 percent of the active Internet universe. Apple's Quick Time had a 7.4 percent reach of active Internet users and Microsoft's Windows Media Player held a reach of 3.2 percent.

Usage of Top Internet Media Players (November 1999):

Player Name Unique AudienceReach %
Real Player8,973,33112.1
Quick Time5,461,3037.4
Windows Media Player2,376,1913.2

"The battle of media players on the end user's desktop is as significant as the battle of desktop operating systems many years ago," said Allen Weiner, vice president of analytical services at NetRatings. "Media players enable developers to fuse TV and radio events with Internet content, providing an experience for users that transcends a single medium. Our data show three leaders setting the early pace, and they will guide the industry in how information and entertainment are delivered."

The typical user employing one of the top three Internet media players is a white male, 25-49 years of age, well educated with a strong concentration in professional and executive/managerial job classifications. Users fell strongly in the $25,000-$75,000 income brackets. Microsoft's Windows Media Player had an audience that consisted of approximately 70 percent men, as compared to Real Player's 61 percent male audience. Apple's Quick Time had more females (41 percent) than those using Microsoft and Real Networks' players.

According to Nielsen//NetRatings data, Web consumers in the United States live in a modem-based world, as shown in Table 2. In November, only 5.9 percent of home users were accessing the Internet via a high-speed connection, which includes ISDN, T1 lines, satellite, cable modem service and the various types of digital subscriber lines. Among modem users, most are concentrated among mid-speed access, 28.8/33.6Kbps, with 45 percent market share. Faster modems offering 56Kbps access make up 41 percent of the market.

Bandwidth in the United States (November 1999):

SpeedUnique AudiencePages Per PersonVisits Per Person% of Net Users
Modem 14.4Kbps6,050,900282118.3%
Modem 28.8/33.6Kbps32,991,2894511545.2%
Modem 56Kbps29,671,0575871840.7%
High-speed access4,266,0231036285.9%

The information reveals a significant opportunity for network providers to offer higher bandwidth to the consumer's computer. Those with high-speed access view more pages and visit the Web more often than those with 28.8/33.6Kbps-modem access. In visits per person, those with higher speed access visit the Internet 83 percent more and view a 130 percent more pages than those with mid-range modem speed.

"The numbers suggest that those with higher-speed access will be more inclined to look at an increased number of Web ads and won't have to face the annoying download wait that currently plagues the overwhelming number of U.S. Internet users," said Weiner.

Nielsen//NetRatings demographic information for Internet connection re