Apple’s QuickTime-based iTunes shows massive growth, to pass RealPlayer soon

“Podcasting is taking off, according to recent data from Nielsen//NetRatings and Apple. Unique users of Apple’s iTunes player passed QuickTime in mid-2005, and at current growth rates iTunes should pass RealPlayer by mid-2006. People are tuning in over twice as long with iTunes than with RealPlayer or Windows Media Player,” reports based on Nielsen//NetRatings research.

“Despite its late entry into the streaming media arena, Apple’s iTunes player is climbing the charts faster than its competitors. iTunes has eclipsed QuickTime in unique users, and should pass RealPlayer in mid-2006 at current growth rates. Only Microsoft’s Windows Media Player will have more unique users than iTunes. In mid-2006 Microsoft’s player will have about 80 million unique users, while iTunes will have just under 30 million,” reports. “iTunes is used over twice as long as its nearest rival RealPlayer (111 minutes versus 46.4 minutes per person, or 2.4 times as long). Besides iTunes, RealPlayer is the only other player surveyed to show growth in usage over the last three years. QuickTime and Windows Media Player are losing mindshare among users.”

Streaming Media Players – Unique Users 2006 (Source: Nielsen//NetRatings)

1. Windows Media Player – 71,112,000
2. RealPlayer – 28,687,000
3. Apple iTunes – 18,568,000
4. Apple QuickTime – 12,817,000

Full article with charts here.

MacDailyNews Take: As iTunes is QuickTime-based, adding the Nielsen//NetRatings for both QuickTime products puts Apple’s solution ahead of RealPlayer already, 31,385,000 to 28,687,000. That’s a lot of Krispy Kremes! Now, these Nielsen//NetRatings QuickTime numbers are always strange to us. Apple, on June 6, 2005, stated that “nearly a billion copies” of QuickTime have been downloaded all-time. Still, by whatever measure, QuickTime use is obviously rising rapidly and those media outlets that insist on streaming in the limited choice of either Windows Media or Real need to rethink their delivery choices. Why would any company that offers online video provide content playable in the third place player and not the second place player that’s growing more rapidly than all others?

We encourage our readers to write to online content providers that offer only Windows Media and/or Real and ask that they include QuickTime. Based on the Nielsen//NetRatings report alone, they should already have done so long ago.

Let’s use the Reader Feedback below constructively by identifying online video providers that should be providing the QuickTime choice and providing contact information. We’ll start:
The Beeb (BBC): offers only choice of Windows Media Player or RealPlayer. Contact info (online form):

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  1. Real sucks for real!

    It would sure be nice if Apple would reverse engineer WMV and add compatibility to QT.

    On the other hand it looks like Windows itself will become the ultimate compatibility translator for Mac users, just please make it VPC not dual boot.

  2. iTunes is not really a streaming content solution for online news websites and things like that. Yes, you can use it, but it’s not practical.

    Which means the competitors add up to close 100 million with Quicktime at 12 million. That’s not exactly proof that website should’ve added Quicktime support “A long time ago”, especially since RealPlayer is essentially cross platform just as much as Quicktime.

    Just thought I’d point that out.

  3. I demand QuickTime. QuickTime for Linux that is. At the moment Real is the only solution that everyone can use. Apple coulc change that by taking QuickTime and iTunes to our penguin friendly cousins.

    Then we could lobby Real right out of the equation.

  4. This doesn’t make any sense. Can somebody clarify? EVERY SINGLE iTunes installation has QuickTime installed. Not every QuickTime installation has iTunes installed. So how can iTunes have more users than iTunes?

    They must mean something different by “Users of QuickTime” than simply “people who use QuickTime.” Color me mystified.

  5. OK, it is a tiny country when it comes to population but one of the richest in the world all the same – Norway – and its public service; Norwegian National Broadcasting or Norsk Rikskringkasting – NRK – only uses Windows and has some lame excuses for doing so; because most people use it! What about quality issues?

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