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Technology

 December 18, 2000
Streamedia Chairman Gayle Essary Says Asian Technopreneurs Will Transform Pan-Pacific To World's Largest Media Behemoth

 In 2001, multinational corporations will take a 'Grand Leap' into streaming, according to Gayle Essary, president of the non-profit Streaming Media Alliance, Inc. (www.streamingmediaalliance.org), the industry's leading trade organization, and Chairman of the Board for Streamedia Communications, Inc., New York (www.streamedia.net), Los Angeles (www.bijoucafe.com) and Zurich (www.nomad.ch), a dynamic U.S.-based streaming media services company and global Internet broadcaster of rich media content, in the Alliance's first annual 'State of the Streaming Industry' keynote address, delivered today in
Seoul, Korea, at Webcast Conference Winter 2000 (www.webcastconference.co.kr), sponsored by CastService Co. Ltd. (www.castservice.com).

The conference may be viewed at www.webcastconference.co.kr/english/index.asp, and the text of the speech may be downloaded at www.streamedia.net. Asia's leading webcast conference is co-sponsored by Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), Compaq Korea (NYSE: CPQ), Live365.com, CastEnjoy.com, Inka Entworks.com, and Kolon Data Communication.

Essary said he agreed with Naoyuki Akikusa, CEO of Fujitsu, who had predicted a few days earlier in Tokyo that "almost all companies are expected to venture into businesses linked to broadband transmission." Essary told conference attendees that the 'good news' is that companies like CastService in Asia, Streamedia in the U.S. and Nomad in Europe, "there won't be enough capacity among all of us and our competitors/collaborators to handle the streaming solutions and infrastructure needs of multinationals alone going forward."

He said that market followers who somehow mistake the sector as being somehow affected by technology and dot-com companies, and have thus lowered the collective valuations of the 90 public companies comprising the Alliance's 'streaming media sector portfolio' some 70% to 80% off their highs are "severely misjudging the marketplace."

Essary is in Asia representing the Alliance, which now numbers over 1,000 members worldwide, and expects to conduct further meetings in Hong Kong before returning to the U.S.

Asia, he said, by sheer population size, will easily transform, as webcasting begins to compete on even footings with television, as is now predicted, from, in some areas, a traditionally closed society to the "largest communications empire the world has ever known," far dwarfing the combined outreach of the major U.S. and European networks combined. 'Asia, Inc.', Essary stated, will represent the combined efforts of hundreds of thousands of web-based streaming 'technopreneurs' who are already beginning to spring up across the pan-Pacific region.

He notes that in the U.S., Arbitron (www.arbitron.com) has recently reported that for those with Broadband access, the Internet commands 21% of the household's attention, compared with 24% for TV and 21% for radio. This compares with households without Broadband access, where the Internet holds
only 11% of the attention, versus 33% for TV and 28% for radio. "Extrapolate this developing data to a fully-wired U.S., and then further factor in the sheer size of parts of the world without TV, and you can quickly calculate that streaming entertainment, information and data may someday reduce TV viewing to a sliver of its present import." Essary pointed out that while there are presently 332.7 million Internet users worldwide, with North America accounting for almost half of that, by 2025, 60% of the world's projected population of 8 Billion will be in Asia alone, "and they will all be streaming."

Other highlights of the 'State of the Streaming Industry' for 2001, according to Essary:

- Broadband network operators, who have spent $20-billion to $25-billion over the last three years to upgrade and rebuild the infrastructure for Broadband, should 'hedge' their huge investments by investing in up to $100-million in Internet-savvy content producers.

- Old media companies and new media companies will continue their defensive "mating dances" to acquire Internet savvy, agreeing with Jupiter Network's Stacey Herron that "what we know about the Web is that it's not a new medium to deliver old entertainment."

- Jerry Yang of Yahoo! was engaging in a bit of wishful thinking last week when he proclaimed that 'Broadband is here', "especially if you have a global outlook" but "he will not be far off the mark if consumers now begin to 'demand their PCTV'," and where necessary, form districts or cooperatives and issue bonds to build out the last mile.

- In-Stream Advertising is the 'killer app' that will drive streaming to its expected 'Edge-of-the-Seat' entertainment experience, and which will attract major events now available only on TV, with expected CPMs of $35 to $45, outperforming even the Super Bowl which commands $25 to $35 CPMs.

- Advances in a wide variety of digital receivers will change streaming from site-based to programming-based content productions, giving webcasts a TV-like presentment. Full feature movies and multicast web events will change entire industries, just as Napster impacted the music business.

- Streaming applications can create societal problems, such as 'Big Brother' privacy invasions, but as those misuses are addressed, the benefits will emerge. One benefit is that despite nay-sayers predicting otherwise, streaming will globalize the world's peoples socially and economically on a peer-to-peer basis, while providing the means to keep ethnic differences and communities intact.

- Streaming will introduce a virtual 'Democracy Wall' that no regime can long repress.

- Streaming hours will grow from 219 million in 2000, up from just 30.4 million last year, to 500 million in 2001, and 3.9 billion by 2005, with 11 billion hours streamed over the next five years!

- Streaming Artificial Intelligence applications will help guide the user through a million-channel universe, and the computer will contact the user in his or her own language wherever he or she is to let the user know what has been found.

- Pay-per-View will reemerge, and if the programming is compelling, people will pay.