Broadband tops dial‐up in the U.S.

According to Nielsen/NetRatings, broadband connections now account for 53 percent of all Internet users in the U.S. That measurement came in October (a lot quicker than anticipated), and it’s a huge, huge landmark in the development of the Internet.

Broadband users spend more time online and do more things. I’ve been following their habits for a couple of years, and it’s why I feel so strongly about local broadcasters and the Web. Broadbanders ARE the streamers of our culture, and the more of them, the greater the reality of TV over IP. A lot of people are predicting that 2005 will be the breakout year for Internet video, and this statistic would give that credence.

A long time ago, I sat in on a private presentation by Saatchi and Saatchi where they talked about advertising and the 50% threshold. At that time, households in the U.S. with remote control devices had just crossed that barrier, and the presenter was saying how it was getting the attention of the ad industry. Trust me, the ad industry is sitting up and taking notice of this landmark.

On the surface, it’s bad news for broadcasters, but this should be heralded as an incredible opportunity, because it means stations can move video content to the Web with a reasonable assurance that it will be watched.

Washington Post article

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