It Is Official: Broadband Now Rules

Rhett Pardon
CYBERSPACE — Broadband is finally king.

For the first time in the United States, 51 percent of online users use a high-speed DSL, cable or ISDN connection, according to ratings firm Nielsen//NetRatings.

That number translates to 63 million Americans, as opposed to 61.3 million, or 49 percent of Americans who use slow-speed modems no faster than a traditional 56K dial-up system.

With the increase use of broadband, the adult industry has clearly benefited by offering fast downloads and streaming media of content.

"Consumers today can click on exactly what they want because everything is at their fingertips," FlyntDigital Marketing Director Laurel Hertz told XBiz. "They no longer have to worry about anyone stumbling into a hidden porno collection. Nor do they have to be forced to watch something because they made the wrong movie rental or [pay-per-view] choice.

"Consumers can now explore their sexual tastes freely and watch high-quality films on their terms," she says. "The days of taking unnecessary chances on films and being embarrassed at the video store are things of the past."

Mark Richman, who co-owns Coral Springs, Fla.-based WebGems, an Internet hosting firm with significant adult business, said that nearly all of his clients use broadband now.

“The only ones I know who have dial-up are the ones who live out in the middle of nowhere,” Richman told XBiz.

In another study released this week, Leichtman Research Group said the second quarter marked the first time that DSL accounted for more broadband additions than did cable.

DSL providers added 895,000 subscribers while cable modem operators added 831,000, according to the Leichtman study. Cable now accounts for about 17.5 million subscribers in the United States, while DSL has more than 11.1 million.

In the Nielsen//NetRatings survey released this week, broadband users grew 47 percent last month over the same month a year ago, while dial-up users fell 13 percent. In comparison, only 38 percent of the U.S.’s online population used a broadband connection.

Breaking down broadband among age groups, younger users were more likely to use broadband than their older counterparts. In the 18-20 category, 59 percent use broadband, while just 46 percent of Internet users 55-64 use a broadband connection. With web-surfing users under 11, 58 percent use broadband, and for users over 65, just 34 percent use broadband.

FlyntDigital's Hertz said that parent company Hustler decided to launch HustlerMovies.com just because of broadband.

"We realize our members love the convenience of being able to watch their favorite movie, theme and performer whenever they want," she said.