Streaming Media: The New Essential

“We aren’t selling toasters; we are selling exciting products,” David Pryor says in an interview with Automotive News. He’s the Vice President of Marketing, and his exciting products are Porsches. “It’s very hard to communicate that emotion with just text and pictures.”

As a method of delivery rather than a medium itself, streaming media technology distributes audio, video, and multimedia in real time or on demand over the Internet. Unlike earlier online media, streaming media plays instantaneously without any added time and effort to download the entire file. In short, there’s no thinking or technique involved: it just plays.

Streaming media isn’t just for luxury brands, entertainment, or news industries. It has numerous common business applications, including company meetings, distance learning, sales force training, surveillance, video email, product introduction, event broadcasts, news distribution, webcasting and web conferencing.

For example, educational and training baby streaming opportunities are not confined to classrooms — companies can simultaneously train countless employees around the world. In 2003, the United States Department of Defense did exactly that, streaming 35 hours of training on smallpox vaccinations to 20,000 military healthcare professionals, including medical directors and clinical consultants.

Imagine commercials for your product airing continuously without being interrupted by TV or radio programs. In January 2008, a Research and Markets report on streaming media advertising noted that the marketing size for both streaming audio and video advertising was estimated at $990.3 million in 2006, up 128% over $433 million billed in 2005.

Businesses from every industry with the need for communication are quickly recognizing the value of streaming media, particularly streaming video. IBM notes that streaming video offers businesses “the ability to help dramatically increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their corporate communications efforts — from rich media corporate portal content, to live webcast presentations, to distance education for employees, and more.”

A recent study by AOL’s Advertising.com found that 66% of survey participants view streaming video content at least once a week. These survey participants were at ages of prime consuming power: 44% of video viewers are between the ages of 18 and 34, while 56% are age 35 or older.

Insight Research reports that streaming video and music will grow at a rate of 29% and generate $70 billion over the next six years. Robert Rosenberg, president of Insight Research, concluded “the future of streaming media has never been brighter.”

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