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The emergence of a mass multimedia market

The Information Market Observatory (IMO) has published a report entitled "The emergence of a mass multimedia market. The report, drafted by the European Policy Studies Institute on behalf of the IMO, discusses the development of a mass market for multimedia services, both in E...
The Information Market Observatory (IMO) has published a report entitled "The emergence of a mass multimedia market. The report, drafted by the European Policy Studies Institute on behalf of the IMO, discusses the development of a mass market for multimedia services, both in Europe and beyond.

Until recently, information service providers have largely targeted business users. It has only been since the growth in popularity of the multimedia personal computer (MPC) as a domestic tool that consumers have been able to access multimedia services either on CD-ROM or on-line via modems.

The IMO report concludes that the consumer CD-ROM market is close to being a genuine mass market in Europe. On-line services, however, are not yet used by even the majority of PC users with modems. The costs of providing the links necessary to provide broad-band services are as yet too prohibitive to be developed, and small-scale trials have not demonstrated sufficient demand for operators to take the risks of developing these services.

Although the report has noted that business information services are increasingly being used by people working in the home it, nevertheless, recognizes that many business services are prohibitively expensive for users other than companies.

The IMO report expresses the view that the development of a European mass market in information services will depend on the ability of service providers to produce products which are wanted by consumers in Europe and not just copied from American products. It, moreover, identifies the major hurdle to the development of a European Information Society as being the cost of the necessary infrastructure - for which funding is still a long way off.
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