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Streaming Video Closes Gender and Age Gap
October 27, 2008
Thomas Mennecke
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It's no secret that BitTorrent's main demographic is composed mostly of younger males, typically under the age of 35. This leaves two large, untapped resources: women and people over the age of 35. Being outside of this realm used to mean not having quick access to TV shows and movies, but that's all changing, according to Ipsos' latest study.

BitTorrent and P2P technology are swell and all, but unless you're a computer nerd stuck in front of a computer, its usability and mainstream appeal are rather weak. And dealing with entities such as "The Pirate Bay" simply doesn't sit well with many individuals. As much as each side of this polarized debate rattle their sabers, the fact remains that P2P technology has struggled to grow outside of its niche appeal. The studios aren't breaking down doors and demanding their work be distributed by the BitTorrent protocol, and the public isn't demanding this either.

But they are demanding many aspects of P2P technology: fast downloads, an impressive catalog, transportability, and free (or ad supported) media. Streaming media has fulfilled many aspects of this criteria, save for the transportability, but considering the near-instant nature of streaming a TV show or a song, this typically isn't a problem for most people. And according to Ipsos' study, more women and people over age 35 are watching streaming video than ever before.

So are people busting open their BitTorrent clients and sharing oodles of files? Not quite. Thanks to legitimate online video streaming sites, the need for BitTorrent and P2P technology isn't as strong as it was a few years ago. It seems that the entertainment industry has found an acceptable method of meeting the needs of most consumers by making much of their TV show catalog readily available. And sites like Hulu.com also offer movies for free too, a realm once controlled exclusively by P2P technology.

Times are changing, and perhaps for the better. According to Ipsos, the simplicity and unobtrusive nature of streaming sites has caught on with the over 35 crowd and with females - and the growth in just one year's time has been impressive. According to Ipsos, about 45% of females participating in the 2007 study streamed at least 1 video in the last 30 days. In 2008, that number jumped to 54%. For those in the 25-34 range, the number jumped from 52% to 60%, while the 35-54 bracket increased from 49% to 60%.

The study also found that males only increased from 55% to 58%, a rather insignificant change from last year. It’s possible that this demographic has simply become saturated with media available from P2P and streaming sites. So will the future of movie/TV distribution occur via BitTorrent? Perhaps, but it won’t be the only method.

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
Technology News :: Software

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