As predicted, iTunes passed Realplayer in unique users near mid-2007. The higher growth rate of iTunes propelled it past RealPlayer for the first time in April of 2007. Among the four major streaming media players, only iTunes had a positive growth rate over the past year. Among active Internet users in the US, broadband increased to 86.8% in December 2007.
Google’s YouTube leads all video sites in unique users, stickiness, and growth over the past year. Combining YouTube with Google Video, Google dominates the top video sharing sites, with over 4.4 times the users as its nearest competitor. Despite accounting for a small fraction of the files on the Internet, web videos from YouTube alone account for more than 10% of the traffic. That is why video optimization is important for web site performance and saving bandwidth. Broadband penetration among active Internet users grew to 83.23% in US homes in June, up 1.05 percentage points from 82.18% in May 2007.
Users of iTunes grew by 47.5% over the past year, while the other streaming media players had single-digit growth. At current growth rates iTunes users will exceed RealPlayer users by the second quarter of 2007 (see Figure 1). European broadband growth has decreased in recent months. US broadband growth slowed a bit in January, growing by 0.62% percentage points to 79.1% among active Internet users.
Users of Apple’s iTunes player grew by nearly 69% over the past year (see Figure 1), but by only 26% since January. Among the big four streaming media players, only RealPlayer showed significant growth compared to Apple since the beginning of 2006. Broadband growth continued its steady climb in November, growing by 1.1% percentage points to 77.7% among active Internet users.
Podcasting is taking off, according to recent data from Nielsen//NetRatings and Apple. Unique users of Apple’s iTunes player passed QuickTime in mid-2005, and at current growth rates iTunes should pass RealPlayer by mid-2006. People are tuning in over twice as long with iTunes than with RealPlayer or Windows Media Player. US broadband penetration jumped 1.33 percentage points in February 2006 to 68% among active Internet users. At current growth rates broadband penetration should break 70% in April of 2006.