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Columns & Editorials

November 15th, 1999

[4:30 PM] QuickTime Usage Declining According To PC Data Online
by Staff

PC Data has released the results of a study that found QuickTime usage declining on the Internet. The report also showed Windows Media Player as the dominant medial player among consumers beating out both QuickTime and RealPlayer. According to PC Data Online:

As digital media quickly becomes an integral, hallmark feature of the consumer online experience, PC Data Online today released the results of the first comprehensive metered report of consumer usage of digital media players.

This groundbreaking report provides the first data available that examines the entire spectrum of household Web use of digital media, including use of digital media players, jukeboxes and embedded streaming audio and video within Web pages.

PC Data Online is currently the only major Web measurement firm today with the ability to track embedded applications (such as RealNetworks' RealPlayer and Microsoft's Windows Media Player) when the software is used to play audio or video content from within Web pages, as in those found on,, and other popular sites. More The comprehensive metered report, which was conducted over September and October of this year, revealed that 41 percent of households with Internet access used media players at least once in the month. In addition, consumers who access digital media content on the Internet used an average of two different players during the month of October. This is an increase from use of 1.6 players per month in September.

PC Data Online also examined the growth rate and use of the most popular digital media players available today, specifically Apple's QuickTime Player, Microsoft's Windows Media Player and RealNetworks' RealPlayer. RealPlayer is used by an average of eight out of ten consumers, while Windows Media Player is used by an average of six out of ten users. The QuickTime Player is used by an average of three out of ten users. Of those players, Windows Media has the fastest growth rate, with a 34 percent usage increase month over month. RealPlayer followed with 5.3 percent growth in use, and QuickTime's usage declined over the same period by 7.7 percent.

The study was conducted by tracking a random sample of 3,000 Internet users, who have used digital media players in September and October, 1999. The data was weighted to represent the US Internet users as a whole. The information is gathered through a proprietary software tool that tracks usage of audio or video content from within web pages.

The Mac Observer Spin: It will be interesting to see if and how Apple responds to this report. Considering the number of QuickTime downloads, it is difficult to conceive that QuickTime use is actually declining. It is even more difficult to believe that Windows MediaPlayer use outpaces that of RealPlayer. That said, PC Data has proven to be a reliable source for statistics and it is certainly possible that this study is correct.

Another important aspect that could effect future trends is QuickTime TV, especially the agreements reached with to provide QuickTime streaming options for their video content. As one of the busiest Internet sites in existence, this should significantly extend QuickTime's marketshare.

What do you think?

PC Data Online - Apple - Microsoft - Real Networks

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