RealTime IT News

Europeans Switch On to Streaming Media

[London, ENGLAND] Spaniards, Brits, Danes, French and Germans are all more frequent users of streaming media than Americans, according to new information uncovered by research firm NetValue.

In January 2001, one in five Internet users in Spain used streaming media from home, making the Spanish the keenest viewers of live, Internet-delivered audio and video in Europe.

NetValue's research has also uncovered some other unexpected findings.

For example, U.K. users of streaming media tend to be older -- a lot older -- than those in Spain. Whereas one in seven Internet users in the U.K. used streaming media, 57 percent of them were over 35, as opposed to only 38 percent in Spain.

"U.K. users are older, and they are more likely to use streaming media to watch or listen to the news -- bbc.co.uk is the second most popular site for streaming media," said NetValue's Alki Manias.

Apparently, 67 percent of visitors to the news section of the BBC's site (news.bbc.co.uk) are 35 and over.

In other statistics, the United States edged ahead of Europe, U.S. users being more active than their European counterparts, spending an average of 60 minutes using streaming media in January. U.K. users were in second place with 30 minutes, while the Germans spent just 12 minutes using the medium.

And yes, NetValue has sliced the figure by gender, showing that the U.S. has the highest percentage of women using streaming media (40 percent), vastly more than Spain where just one in five users is female.

What do these figures mean for content providers? It is hard to say, especially as there is so much local variation in the pattern of usage.

The streaming media industry is still in its infancy, waiting for high speed access to become universal. When that happens, the figures may well show the majority of the population viewing live media over the Internet.