U.S. Media Expanding to Europe

[Rome, Italy] While many U.S.-based e-businesses continue to resist European
expansion, the same cannot be said about industry media. Ken Rutkowski, host of World
Technology Roundup, the daily radio webcast heard by 120,000 listeners around the
world as well as the weekly eYada program, e-Files, showed up in the
Italian capital this week to report on the rapid Internet development in
this Mediterranean peninsula, as well as other parts of Europe.

“Italy is fiber optic from top-to-bottom,” reported Rutkowski during his
live webcast from the Hilton Rome Airport Hotel. “This positions the country
for extremely rapid growth, much faster than has taken place in America over
the past five years.”

Rutkowski was the first radio broadcaster to transform the net into a source
of live interactive news and talk. With his popular talk show, Tech Talk, he
helped pioneer work by AudioNet (now Broadcast.com) and Progressive Networks
(now RealNetworks). A regular guest on ABC Nightline, MSNBC and Streaming
Media Talk, Rutkowski went on to explain that, “Recent figures indicate that
15.3 percent of the Italian population is online. Thats a 25 percent
penetration. That is amazing growth when one considers that only three years
ago penetration was only eight percent.”

Rome was the first stop of the American webcasters European tour. His trip
coincided with Italys annual E-Commerce Summit, afterwhich he traveled to
London to report on the latest high-tech news from the Streaming Media
Europe Conference.

“Media outlets that cover the high-tech industry, whether print, audio, or
video, must be global. There is too much happening in Europe to be
overlooked,” said Rutkowski. “E-businesses here have learned from the
U.S. model. They have avoided many of the pitfalls and are coming out faster and
more prepared than companies in the past.”

“I am here to see, first hand, what is happening in Italy, the U.K., and other
countries. Our strategy calls for expanded coverage of Europe, the industry
leaders, and those that are making news in all sectors of the Internet. We
plan regular trips and participation in several European conferences each
year to stay on top of the technological developments. While one can gather
news from anywhere, it is not the same as experiencing it first-hand. One
has to have a presence.

A good example, said Rutkowski, is WAP. “While we hear a lot of hype about
it in the United States, one does not get the full effect of why the
European industry is so keen on it until they get to, say, Italy, where 63
percent of the population, including children, have cellular phones. Its an
amazing marketing opportunity.”

As if to confirm his statements, The Industry Standard magazine, an
institution in the U.S. Internet industry, will launch a European edition
later this month, hoping to wedge its way into the market. It will be facing
touch competition, however, as Rutkowski points out.

“There are a number of major players in print and online media covering
European Internet. The Financial Times and Tornado Insider, to mention but
two. Both offer timely insightful information into the marketplace.”

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