January 01, 2001

Media Metrix reports that media players now are installed on 99 percent of U.S. home PCs, enabling these computers to deliver both online and offline digital-audio and video to consumers. Streaming-media players, the subset of media players that enable real-time access of digital-audio and video over the Internet, also are now installed on 99 percent of U.S. home PCs. In November 2000, 47 percent of U.S. home computer users (both PC and Mac) used a media player, while 40 percent used a streaming-media player.

"As a result of aggressive bundling campaigns, media players and streaming media players are now installed on nearly every home PC in the United States, but growth of consumers' usage of them is flattening," said Steve Coffey, Executive Vice President, Media Metrix. "To close the gap between what people can do and what they actually do, the industry must continue to develop content and better delivery systems that encourage users to take advantage of the digital video and audio capabilities they have."

In the streaming-media category, RealNetworks' RealPlayer maintains the largest share of users. In November 2000, 28 percent of all U.S. home computer users used RealPlayer, 22 percent used Windows Media Player (versions 6 and 7) and four percent used Quicktime (version 4). In contrast, 22 percent of these same users used RealPlayer in January 2000, 17 percent used Windows Media Player (versions 6 and 7) and three percent used Quicktime (version 4).

Media Metrix Media Player and Streaming-Media Player Installations Percentage of U.S. Home PCs, September 2000
Media Players 99%
Streaming-Media Players 99%

Media Metrix Usage Reach for Media Player Category Percentage of U.S. Home Computer Users (Both PC and Mac), January-November 2000

Jan - 40%
Feb - 46%
Mar - 43%
Apr - 44%
May - 45%
Jun - 46%
Jul - 47%
Aug - 48%
Sep - 48%
Oct - 48%
Nov - 47%

Media Metrix Definitions

Reach: The percentage of all computer users who ran a given program within the time period.

Media Players: The superset of software that can play digital media, both offline and online. These include by title: RealPlayer, Windows Media Player, Quicktime, Winamp, RealJukebox, MusicMatch, Jukebox, Sonique, Liquid, Player, Netshow, Spinner Plus, Radio Wave, Napster, Scour and Gnutella (and all its derivations).

Streaming Media Players: The subset of the main media players that allow users to "stream" content, or access it in real time over the Web. These include by title: RealPlayer, Windows Media Player (versions 6 and 7), Quicktime (version 4), Netshow, Spinner Plus, and RadioWave.

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