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Do US Webcasters set the trends for the rest of the World? Louisa Ha Bowling Green State University US Webcast Market Environment • Grew out of a highly commericialized, media-rich market: $690 billion in 2004 • Leads in ICT, contributed 13% of real GDP growth in the U.S. in 2004 • Advertising is the primary source of revenue for most media Internet and Broadband Usage • 81% have Internet access (Arbitron/Edison Media 2005) • Highest number of broadband lines in the world: 3.4 million lines • 25% of home users use broadband connection • Cable broadband slightly led over DSL (60/40) • Unequal broadband usage among cities: top markets up to 70% broadband use • Webcast as killer application for the broadband service industry: webcast content requires high bandwidth for quality delivery Largest cable companies (Comcast, Time Warner, Cox) offer portal services with webcast Leading DSL providers (SBC, Verizon & Bellsouth) partner with online service providers Setting Trends in Web Audience Research • Data from meter installed on a panel user’s computer e.g., Nielsen’s Netratings • Data from the webcaster’s media server e.g., Accustream Leading US Video Webcasters Webcaster Type Streams Revenue (’04)Ownership Business (in ’000) Model 1. America Online ISP 292,000 8.7 billion Public CA 2. Yahoo Launch PP 250.000 3.6 billion Public CA 3. RealNetworks PP 146,000 267 million Public CA 4. MSN Video PP 43,705 892 million Public CA 5. ESPN CB 34,865 n.a. Public BC 6. Stupidvideos PP 25,600 n.a. Private BC 7. MSNBC CB 24,309 n.a. Public CA 8. Windows Media PP 17,712 n.a. Public CA 9. IFilm PP 17,619 n.a. Private CA 10. AtomFilm PP 3,000 n.a. Private BC Source: Accustream 2004 Leading US Radio Webcasters Webcaster Type AQH Revenue Ownership Bus. Model PP 18,481 n.a. Private BC Digitally Imported – di.fm AccuRadio.com PP 10,033 n.a. Private BC RadioIO.com PP 5,119 n.a. Private BC EnergyRadio.fm PP 2,317 n.a. Private BC BoomerRadio.com PP 2,215 n.a. Private BC Beethoven.com PP 1,758 n.a. Private BC 3WK.com PP 1,295 n.a. Private BC 90sFM.net PP 1,224 n.a. Private BC WolfFM.com PP 1,196 n.a. Private BC 80sFM.com PP 894 n.a. Private BC Webcast Business Practices • Most leading webcasters are pure-play native Internet media brands: highest proportion of pure-play brand leaders in the world • - conflict between offline and offline media (fear of cannibalization) • - deep pocket support from publicly traded portal sites (in video), copyright problem of offline radio stations (in radio) Webcast Business Practices • Dominated by commercial webcasters who try to make a profit out of the webcasts • Branded Content most commonly used model, despite the top webcasters are all content aggregators Ha and Ganahl’s (2004) ACR Webcast Business Model • Accessibility (technical standards and transmission methods) • Content Strategies • Revenue Sources ACR in US Leading Webcasters Accessibility • 65% only uses one transmission method • Live streaming most popular, and used by all radio webcasters • Interactive features commonly found on webcast (e.g., games, chat rooms, ratings) ACR in US Leading Webcasters (cont’d) Content Strategies • Very few original content (25%) • Mostly repurposed content (52%) • All web radio simulcast their content • Most choose specialized strategy, concentrate on one or two genres (75%) • Low cost content and short video clips are the norm ACR in US Leading Webcasters (cont’d) Revenue Sources • 70% have more than one revenue source • Advertising is the most popular revenue source (90%). • E-commerce second most popular (60%) • Direct payment by consumers only 40% of all leading webcasters. • All direct payment services are tiered US Leading the Trend? • Leadership of Pure-Plays is different from the rest of the world • Commercial media leadership instead of public broadcast leadership in Webcasting • Technology development set the trends for the world: Media players (Domination of Windows Media Player and Real Player) • Tiering of content services: High quality content is not free • Pushing technology limits: High definition DVD quality video or CD quality radio content • Diversification of revenue sources: setting the trends for other countries • Continues the commercialized media tradition in the U.S. • Partnership between broadband service providers and webcasters: a worldwide trend not set by the U.S. Globalization of US Leading Webcasters • Only a few leading Webcasters establish local versions in other countries and become one of the leaders in host countries e.g., Yahoo (Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, and Taiwan), MSN (Germany, Japan, and Taiwan), AOL (UK, Canada), RealNetworks (Japan) • Local versions, not the US versions are the leaders: showing preference of local contents. • Local versions follow the format, but the content is locally supplied. • US versions seldom have foreign language choice for users (little interest in foreign users) Outlook of the Webcast Industry • Clear diversification of revenue sources. Non-direct payment still the dominant mode in the U.S. – abundance of media choices. • Online advertising growth can fuel the development of webcast content for mass consumption • Increasing broadband penetration will increase demand for webcast content • Future depends on traditional media’s embracement or resistance toward webcast of their content – Webcasting as alternative delivery medium or stand-alone media service • Booming webcast industry in niche and professional markets such as Maritime TV, TV Worldwide, Internet TV for Assistive Technology • Combination of Webcasts and Webconferencing • Portable devices increases outlets for webcasts such as PDAs and cellular phones • Integration of technologies increase utilization of Webcasts such as VOIP, IPTV, Interactive programming guides. • Integration with games and toys increase the market of Webcast.
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