Who is Streaming and When?

Streaming content providers, advertisers, and inquiring minds want to know who is on the receiving end of streaming media. According to a recent study, Joe Streaming is a 36-year-old white male, who lives in the Midwest (Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, or Oklahoma), has completed some college, and earns between $50,000 and $75,000. He uses the Internet for at least 8 hours a week and is more likely to use broadband than the typical user. This profile was the result of a study commissioned by MeasureCast (www.measurecast.com), which specializes in streaming media audience measurement, and conducted by Harris Interactive ( www.harrisinteractive.com), an Internet-based market research company.

A recent report by Nielsen/NetRatings adds temporality to the profile with data concerning when Joe was streaming in the month of September. According to the data, more people accessed the Internet at home (89 million) compared to at work (34 million). Out of these general users, 33 million accessed streaming media at home, while 17 million streamed at work.

Though the total numbers of streamers was higher at home, the numbers show a higher percentage of streamers among active Internet users at work: 51 percent at work versus 37 percent at home. The data also points to Friday as the highest traffic day at work, with admittedly a small lead over other work days, while Friday and Saturday took the lead in at home usage. The data coincides with common sense in depicting the prime hours of streaming: workplace streaming peaks from 12pm to 4pm; and home use peaks between 7pm and 10pm.

The MeasureCast/Harris Interactive study is based on a ten-minute survey sent via email in August 2000, to a random sampling from the Harris Interactive Database of users over the age of 18, of which 9,721 were completed. Of these, 1,967 qualified as streaming media users by claiming to have watched streaming video or listened to streaming audio for at least one hour in the past 30 days. Of this group, about 20 percent watch or listen to streaming media every day; about 57 percent use the medium a few times per week. Also of interest, 66 percent of streaming media consumers watch or listen for at least 15 minutes per session.

The study revealed the main concerns for streaming media users were quality of the audio and video and the speed of the connection. Demographic differences were stereotypically divided with older users more concerned about privacy and security and younger users more concerned about speed. The study also found that overall, men -- at 20 percent -- are more likely to qualify as active streaming media users than women -- at 12 percent.

Other interesting statistics produced include: 67 percent of the online population is familiar with streaming media; and people with household incomes of $50,000 or higher (71 percent) are significantly more familiar than people with household incomes less than $50,000 (65 percent).

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