Forbes says Internet audio/video news streaming is coming into its own with the war in Iraq:
- Every new medium has its defining moment, and the current Iraqi conflict will be the event that validates the Internet’s streaming news media.
….The unfolding war in Iraq is expected to spur consumer adoption of the paid-subscription streaming news services recently launched by ABC News and Yahoo!, as well as existing pay services from CNN and RealNetworks. The latter already has 900,000 paying subscribers for its SuperPass service. For the uninitiated, streaming media is an audio and video broadcast that looks much like television but is transmitted over high-speed Internet connections.
“A huge news event will spur the adoption of all manner of streaming media,” says Gartner G2 analyst Laura Behrens. “Particularly in the workplace where there are high-speed Internet connections, it’s how people get their news.”
Behrens points to a precedent in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The day after the attacks brought the highest traffic day ever for RealNetworks, which makes the technology used to deliver and host streaming media Web sites like ABCNews.com, a unit of The Walt Disney Co. On that day, a whopping 11.4 million streaming media files were accessed on the RealNetworks site, compared with the 1.5 million streaming files accessed there on an average day. A RealNetworks spokeswoman says the current Saddam showdown is already delivering a traffic surge that she expects will continue.
….Like most streaming news outfits, much of ABC News Live material is culled from cameras and reporters already in place for both its television and radio stations. “But we won’t simulcast what’s on the network,” a spokeswoman says. “There’s so much great material coming out of the [Middle East] region, so this is another outlet to showcase the good stories that don’t make it on air.”
Indeed every streaming outfit expects that the news from Iraq will generate material good enough to sell their subscriptions. Television will still be the public’s primary news source throughout this conflict, but the Internet is now making history by broadcasting the first war ever watched on the Web.