The popularity of Apple's streaming media players is rapidly approaching Microsoft's. According to a recent survey of streaming media usage, the market share of Apple's iTunes and QuickTime players grew from 32% in January 2008 to 36.4% in January 2009, while Microsoft's Media Player was unchanged at 50.7%. Most of this gain was due to the increasing popularity of iTunes. Meanwhile broadband lines grew by 20% to 110.5 million lines in Europe over the past year. In the US, broadband growth slowed to its lowest level in seven years, while penetration crept up to 59% overall.
The market share of Apple's iTunes player has grown from 23.6% in January 2008 to 27.8% in January 2009. Combined with QuickTime usage, the popularity of Apple's streaming media players has grown from 47,800,000 users (32% share) to 58,596,000 users (36.4% share) from January 2008 to January 2009, while Microsoft's share was flat at 50.7% during the same time period (see Table 1). If the current growth trends continue, Apple should pass Microsoft by the first quarter of 2012 in streaming media player popularity (see Figure 1).
Figure 1: Streaming Media Player Growth in Unique Users - January 2009
Source: Nielsen Online
|Month||iTunes||Apple QuickTime||iTunes+QuickTime||RealPlayer||Windows Media Player|
|Jan-08||35,269 (23.6%)||12,531||47,800 (32%)||25,800||75,810 (50.7%)|
|Jan-09||44,764 (27.8%)||13,832||58,596 (36.4%)||20,709||81,795 (50.7%)|
Broadband usage in Europe grew by 20 percent over the year to a total of 110.5 million connections, according to The European Competitive Telecommunications Association's (ECTA) twice-yearly Broadband Scorecard survey (see Figure 2). The Scorecard tracks the progress of broadband penetration and local loop unbundling in the 25 member states of the European Union.
Figure 2: Broadband Penetration Growth in Europe - to October 2008
Denmark continues to lead the EU with 37.5% of its population on broadband, followed by the Netherlands at 36.3%, Sweden at 31%, Finland at 30.8%, Luxembourg at 28.2%, and the UK at 28.1% (see Figure 3). All of these countries were well above the average EU broadband penetration rate of 22.4%. Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Poland trailed the field with broadband penetration rates in the 10 percent range.
Figure 3: European Country Broadband Penetration Rates - September 2008
In terms of raw broadband line growth, however, Bulgaria leads the field with a growth rate of 206.5% over the past half year (over 410% year over year). The Czech Republic follows at 180.2% line growth, followed by Romania at 136.4%, Cyprus at 47.6%, Greece at 25.4%, and Poland at 20.9% (see Figure 4). Two countries had negative growth over the past half year, Portugal and Hungary.
Figure 4: European Broadband Line Growth - Half Year
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