Cable TV

Streaming media registers double digit growth

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MUMBAI: Streaming media will continue to register double-digit growth gains for both audio and video through 2005, according to market forecasts published by AccuStream iMedia Research.

Video streams are driving to top 6 billion accesses this year, while aggregate tuning hours for Internet radio should reach about 140 million aggregate tuning hours per month across all aggregator and network sites by the end of the year.

On the video side, music, news and film are forecast to grow at the highest percentage rates year-over-year through 2005. Sports programming -- currently forecast to drop to single-digit growth in 2005 -- remains a wild card, because many leagues and brands are moving behind subscription services targeting broadband PC audiences.

While pay broadband streams are now catching up to free or ad supported streams in key content categories, a recovering ad market could tip that two-year trend back toward more sponsored, ad-supported or distributor subsidised content.

The following table represents video streams served by content category from 2000-2005. The figures indicate millions of users.

Research director Paul Palumbo says, "This report has it all. It contains thousands of data points by channel, network, programme, event and channel going back to 1998. Forecasts are based on detailed historical usage patterns, broadband streaming media consumption rates, the adoption of subscription services and audience behaviors inside pay environments."

The report notes that major media brands are more quickly exploiting their video franchises online (studios, cable TV networks, broadcasters along with their broadband PC and streaming beyond the PC distribution partners).

Larger broadcast brands will continue to dominate key categories of streaming media ratings, along with major online-only brands such as Yahoo, Real Networks, but there is a developing opportunity for new and independent producers with good programming ideas.

The report also notes that the size of the streaming media audience has grown so rapidly over the past three years that hit programmes can and do jump quickly into the top ranks of streaming sites on a monthly basis. More hits will encourage more innovative investment.

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