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Is a turn around in the dot-com world around the corner? By Stephen Schleicher
A friend of mine called me last week to rap about expanding his website to try and make some more money through advertising. One of the ideas he came up with was to include streaming media. In the course of our conversation, one of the topics that came up was the state of the economy and how that affects the dot-coms of the world. Considering some of the things that happened in the last week, I had some good information mixed with some caution for my friend.

First the good news. Cisco's announcement helped the stock market rally and end the week on an up note. Couple that with the drop in the fed rate and there has been plenty of talk about the economy finally leveling out. This is great for the dot-coms of the world as investors tend to spend more of their money on riskier ventures in a stable and strong economy. But remember just as the Net is world wide, so is the economy. While we may have one of the better economies, what happens economically in Asia, will eventually affect us.


Speaking of Asia, the economy, and the Net, a report came out early last week that broadband access revenue in Asia and the Pacific Rim is expected to hit $5.8 billion by 2005. This is great news for those of us working in the streaming market. With demand for broadband set to explode in the next couple of years, there will be a huge demand for good streaming content. Instead of waiting four more years to begin putting your streaming program together, now is the time to start growing an audience so a developed base is in place.

As if that news was not enough to convince my friend to go ahead and take the plunge, yet another report came out last week that further supports the idea that the streaming marketplace is making a turn around. A study by Arbitron and Edison Media Research revealed that the percentage of Internet users who have tried/used streaming media has surpassed 50%. This is excellent news as it not only shows the streaming media turnaround, but also shows that viewers are willing to watch.

Now comes the cautionary portion of our tale. Just because the market is ripe for streaming media doesn't mean that you should stream just any ol' stuff. Spending each and every week searching for worthy Digital WebCast Streams of the Week has proven that there are many things worthy of being streamed and an equal or greater number of streams that should never have seen the light of day. At the same time that is one of the great things about the Internet; it isn't regulated?anything is fair game. However, those streams that are well done and worthwhile have survived and will be the ones that reap the benefits of an improved economy, the growing demand for broadband, and the increased acceptance of streaming media.

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Stephen Schleicher has crossed the country several times over the last couple of years going from Kansas to Atlanta , Georgia, and Southern California. In his time traveling, he has worked as an editor, graphic designer, videographer, director, and producer on a variety of video productions ranging from small internal pieces, to large multimedia
corporate events.

Currently, Stephen shares his knowledge with students at Fort Hays State University who are studying media and web development in the Information Networking and Telecommunications department. When he is not shaping the minds of university students, Stephen continues to work on video and independent projects for State and local agencies and organizations as well as his own ongoing works.

He is also a regular contributor to Digital Producer, Creative Mac, Digital Webcast, Digital Animators, and the DV Format websites, part of the Digital Media Online network of communities (www.digitalmedianet.com), where he writes about the latest technologies, and gives tips and tricks on everything from Adobe After Effects, to Appleā??s Final Cut Pro, LightWave 3D, to shooting and lighting video.

He has a Masters Degree in Communication from Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas. As a forward thinker, he wrote his Thesis on how Information Islands and e-commerce would play a major role in keeping smaller communities alive. This of course was when 28.8 dialup was king and people hadnā??t even invented the word e-commerce.

And, he spends what little free time he has biking, reading, traveling around the country, and contemplating the future of digital video and its impact on our culture. You can reach him at schleicher@mindspring.com

Related Keywords:Money, economy, cisco, streaming media, streaming video, Asia, budget, broadband

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