ALMOST 96 MILLION U.S. WEB users–68 percent–now access the Internet on high-speed lines, up from 74 million one year ago, Nielsen//NetRatings reported Tuesday.
Broadband’s rapid proliferation is fueling the popularity of video sharing sites. MSN Video, in particular, garnered 9.3 million unique visitors in Feb. 2006–growing 44 percent over the previous year to makeup 9.3 million uniques, according to Nielsen//NetRatings.
YouTube, the hugely popular video sharing upstart, trailed MSN just slightly in Feb. with a unique audience of 9 million. Google Video, which launched last year, drew 6.2 million unique visitors.
While both Yahoo’s video search site and Viacom’s IFilm saw triple-digit yearly growth–148 percent and 102 percent, respectively–each drew about half of MSN’s audience last month. Specifically, iFilm saw 4.3 million uniques in February, and Yahoo saw 3.8 million.
The rate of broadband adoption among consumers appears to be increasing incrementally, Nielsen//NetRatings reports. Consumption grew 13 percentage point from Feb. 2005 to last month; 10 percentage points from February 2004 to February 2005; and 12 percentage points–from 33 percent to 45 percent–from February 2003 to February 2004.
Overall Internet penetration in the United States has stabilized over the past few years, reaching 74 percent at home last month, according to Nielsen//NetRatings.