Television

iTunes reaches 14 per cent of active net users in the US

MUMBAI: Nielsen//NetRatings, which deals with Internet media and market research, has announced that traffic in the US to Apple's iTunes Web site and the use of the iTunes application has skyrocketed by 241 per cent over the past year, from 6.1 million unique visitors in December 2004 to 20.7 million in December 2005, reaching nearly 14 per cent of the active Internet population 

Teens are disproportionately represented among iTunes users. 12 to 17 year olds are nearly twice as likely to visit the iTunes web site and use the application as the average Internet user. iTunes users are also more likely to be male. The site's traffic is 54 per cent male and 46 per cent female.

Nielsen//NetRatings director of media analytics Jon Gibs says, "The rapid growth of iTunes is an important phenomenon in the online media marketplace. Consumers have clearly indicated that they are eager to control their own music libraries, one song at a time".

iTunes users form a distinct target audience with identifiable brand preferences. Their favourite car make is Volkswagen, which they are 2.2 times more likely to own than the average Internet user. Other popular car makers among the group include Audi and Subaru. In terms of beverages, their alcohol of choice is hard cider, followed by imported and domestic beer.

iTunes users also have decided media preferences. Among magazines, they are 3.3 times more likely than average to read Wired, 2.6 times more likely to read Rolling Stone and 2.5 times more likely to read FHM.

When watching television, they flock to the Cartoon Network at 1.4 times the average rate, and to HBO and BBC America at 1.3 and 1.2 times the average rate, respectively.

Gibs adds, "As networks begin to decide what types of programmes to either produce or distribute through iTunes video, they should match the TV audiences' offline purchase and media consumption behaviour with that of the iTunes users to maximise the success of video downloads".

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