As the number of broadband subscribers in the U.S. grew about 40% last year to 25 million, broadband users were also more likely than narrowband users to purchase consumer products, Leichtman Research Group Inc. says.
The leading U.S. cable and DSL broadband providers, representing about 98% of the market, added 7.4 million high-speed Internet subscribers last year, Durham, NY-based Leichtman says.
And in survey of 1,600 households conducted in December and early January, Leichtman found that 76% of broadband subscribers said they had purchased consumer products such as books, music or clothing online at least once last year, compared to 57% of narrowband users.
In addition, the household survey found that 62% of broadband subscribers made a travel reservation online to stay in a hotel, fly on a plane or rent a car, compared to 44% of narrowband users. Not surprisingly, it also found that broadband users were far more likely than narrowband users to have viewed streaming video, 41% to 14%.
The survey also found that 62% of households subscribe to an online service at home, and about one-third of this group subscribes to broadband. It said that 73% of broadband users are "very satisfied" with their Internet service, compared to 49% of narrowband subscribers. It said 30% of narrowband users are interested in subscribing to broadband. Bruce Reichtman, president and principal analyst, says the main reason for the higher satisfaction rating among broadband users is the faster speed in connecting to the web and in downloading images.
He adds, however, that his study doesn’t necessarily show that broadband users buy more online simply because they have broadband. It may be just a coincidence that people who value broadband also have been more prone to shop online, with or without high bandwidth, he says. "We can’t say what they did before they had broadband," he says. "But we know they do buy things online – it’s much more a part of their lives than it is for narrowband users."