updated 08:35 pm EST, Tue February 27, 2007
iTunes beats RealPlayer
Apple's iTunes is the fastest growing media player and is set to surpass RealPlayer in popularity later this year. A new report claims that iTunes saw growth of 47.5 percent over the past year, while the other streaming media players had single-digit growth. At current growth rates iTunes users will exceed RealPlayer users by the second quarter of 2007, Website Optimization reports. Over the past year, the number of unique users of Apple's iTunes player grew by 47.5 percent, the report said. Over the same time period, RealPlayer users grew by 9.1 percent, QuickTime by 8.7 percent, and Windows Media Player grew by 2.0 percent accordingd by Nielsen//NetRatings.
"At current growth rates, iTunes should pass RealPlayer in unique users by the second quarter of 2007," the report noted. "Apple should be whistling a happy tune this year. While iTunes continues to show stong double-digit growth rates, Windows Media Player growth appeared to slow over the past year."
The total number of unique users of Apple's iTunes is just over 27 million, while the company's QuickTime software is used by just under 14 million users, growing about 8.7 percent during the last year. RealPlayer has over 27 million unique users, while Windows has nearly 73 million, more than 2.5 times the number of Apple's iTunes.
However, since November 2005, the number of users of Apple's iTunes has nearly doubled, while Windows Media Player has only grown by 5.3 percent. RealPlayer users grew by nearly 20 percent during the same period, a little more than the nearly 18 percent growth seen by QuickTime during the 14-month period.
The report also found that European broadband growth has decreased in recent months and that US broadband growth slowed a bit in January. Data indicates that it grew only 0.62 percentage points, reaching 79.1 percent penetration among active Internet users. The slow January growth in the US is below the average increase in broadband of 0.9 points per month over the last six months. At current growth rates US broadband penetration should break 80 percent by the end of March, the company said.