Report: Rise of Broadband Forcing Local Media Outlets Online

The increasing availability of streaming media content via broadband is
driving traditional sources of audio media content, such as local radio
stations, to shift
their focus onto the Internet and develop original online content, says a new
report.


The research findings are from Nielsen//NetRatings, the
audience measurement service from Nielsen Media Research and NetRatings Inc.


In the past six months, the number of streaming media users has jumped 38
percent, according to Nielsen//NetRatings. In April 2000, 36 percent of all
active home users accessed some form of streamed audio or video content
online, an increase from 28 percent in November 1999


“Broadband and even satellite-delivered content pose both a challenge and
opportunity for traditional media providers, especially the local radio
stations,” said T.S. Kelly, director of Internet Media Strategies at
NetRatings.


“Just as cable properties slowly gained market share against
their broadcast competitors in the 80s and 90s, non-broadcast audio and video
sources from the Internet and elsewhere will make similar inroads in
the current decade against traditional sources of content in local markets.”


“As individuals go to streaming media providers such as spinner.com and
broadcast.com, radio stations will have to make the leap to the Internet to
protect local brand equity and attract new listeners who have come to rely on
this new medium for content,” Kelly said.


More and more people will begin to access streaming content as broadband
connectivity solutions such as DSL and cable modems become cheaper and their
availability in U.S. households becomes increasingly widespread, the report
states.


“Online streaming media consumption has risen significantly as users switch
in large numbers from slower access to 56 Kbps modems and higher speed
connections,” said Kelly.


Nielsen//NetRatings data shows that eight percent of all active home users,
or 6.8 million persons two years and older, are accessing the Internet in a
broadband environment with speeds higher than 56 Kbps. More than half of all
Internet users currently access the Web via a 56 Kbps connection, and the
rest of the Web population connects at a speed of 33.3
Kbps or lower. And Web users with broadband connections use rich media
content at a far greater rate than narrowband users.

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