Streaming What? Say 31 Percent of U.K. Companies

[London, ENGLAND] According to a recent survey by Reed Exhibition
Companies Ltd., an astonishing 31 percent of U.K. businesses are not
familiar with the term “streaming media,” even though 92 percent
of them expect to use it within two years.

The latest finding is one of the more curious anomalies to
emerge from the small mountain of reports issued by researchers
each year into the European communications industry. It was
published in support of the e-CAST 2001 streaming media conference,
to be held May 21-23, in London.

However, the actual extent of corporate ignorance is probably
much higher than even these figures suggest. Reed took a sample
of 1,259 companies that were already involved in either
broadcasting or e-commerce — companies that are among the “most
likely to know” about streaming media. It is certain, says Reed,
that the ignorance of the general business community will be
much higher.

British businesses have been enthusiastic users of all forms
of audio visual for many decades, but the recent findings indicate
that today’s technology has progressed too far, too fast for
most people in business to keep up with it.

After all, just look at the agenda — also discovered by Reed
in its survey.

45 percent of U.K. businesses say they want to implement Web
conferencing. (Get on with it, Jones!) 41 percent plan to
implement e-learning. 63 percent want to put e-commerce into
action. (Another job for you, Jones!) And 45 percent intend
to implement Web casting.

With all the activity that is supposed to take place in the
next few years, it is not surprising that a lot of people
are looking for more information about all these applications.

Kevin Quinn chief executive of Servecast.com, a European provider
of streaming media delivery and hosting services, said the
information seekers were quite right in their quest, as streaming
media has huge potential to enhance their communications activities.

Quinn pointed to the example of e-tailing Web site Vacuum Cleaners
Direct — one of the largest operations of its kind in the U.K.
He said that there had been a fourfold increase in the number of
purchases made by consumers after the site introduced online product
demonstrations using Servecast.com’s video and audio streaming
technology.

In the U.K., vendors may well find the B2B market for streaming
media more receptive than B2C, given that relatively few consumers
have access to broadband.

Organizers of e-CAST 2001 claim it will be Europe’s largest
springtime meeting point for the media communications industry.

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