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RealTime IT News

Report: Streaming Video to Reach $27B

Streaming video and music accessed through the Internet and mobile devices will generate $27 billion in revenue by 2011, according to an Insight Research report.

In what Insight president Robert Rosenberg calls a conservative prediction, the report also projects 32 percent annual compound growth for the streaming media market.

The fulfillment of those predictions depends on consumers changing their attitudes toward their mobile devices. Many of them still consider their devices to be phones.

That change is bound to come, according to an ABI Research report. After recent innovations in home entertainment technology, that report says the next step will be connecting those at-home networks to mobile devices.

The hold-up on that development has been the low bandwidth mobile content providers have to overcome in getting video and audio to the consumer. Mobile devices connect to the Internet at only around 10KB per second.

Though bandwidth remains low, mobile content developers, such as Action Engine and mPortal are working around it.

They're taking advantage of the increased processing power of mobile devices and caching applications on the devices themselves. That means the small bandwidth can be devoted entirely to video, audio and other content.

Bandwidth is not a problem for traditional Internet access, as broadband reached 60 percent penetration in the U.S. market last year. The increased infrastructure capacity is keying an explosion in video content so far this year.

Already this year, CBSportsline.com broke on-demand video records with its March Madness offering, and Major League Baseball scored a huge opening day online audience with its MLB.tv, according to Nielsen//NetRatings.

Apple teamed with ABC to offer on-demand TV shows in its iTunes Music Store last year. Other networks have been quick to follow with their own services.

User-generated video sites such as YouTube and OfficePirates have media pundits calling the workday the new primetime.

Predictions of a new prime time have well-healed Old Medias making heavy-footed forays online.

In 2004, News Corp. acquired the social-networking site MySpace for $580 million. Last month, rumors had Viacom offering $750 million for Facebook.