Market research firm
Jupiter Media Metrix
reports that the number of home users of standalone media players (defined as the software that plays digital audio or video) increased 33.2 percent last year. Unfortunately, the company also said that RealNetworks’ software far and away outpaced competitors QuickTime and Windows Media Player.
Media Metrix’s research shows that 41.7 million home users had a digital media player installed on their computer by the beginning of this year, up more than 10 million users from the year before. Media players also saw an upswing in installed base at work, with 15.7 million computers sporting some sort of media player this January, as opposed to 11.6 million last year.
Media Metrix Executive Vice President Steve Coffey said that quality has driven growth of media player use this past year. “Greater connection speeds, more efficient content delivery, as well as better and more content are among the key factors that will continue to move this trend forward,” said Coffey.
Unfortunately, the news isn’t good for QuickTime. Jupiter Media Metrix reported that home use of RealNetworks RealPlayer saw a 47.6 percent boost in 2000, to 25.9 million users. 21.5 million users depend on Windows Media Player, up 31.2 percent from the year before, and 7.3 million users depend on QuickTime, a downturn of 8.4 percent.
Media Metrix said that RealPlayer is also used most often at work — 10.5 million Internet users at work depend on RealPlayer, up 52.1 percent; 9 million use Windows Media Player, up 39.9 percent, and 1.9 million use QuickTime. If there’s a silver lining, it’s that QuickTime use increased year over year by 8.5 percent.
Media Metrix explained that RealPlayer has grown its marketshare so dramatically by arranging to be the default, embedded player within America Online’s proprietary online service. Media Metrix said that this alone added millions of RealPlayer users in November and December of last year.