People may be buying into home networks now to link up multiple PCs, but
music will be the real killer application as the technology hits mainstream,
according to a new report put out by Jupiter Media Metrix.
The report estimated that one-third of broadband users are interested in
installing a home network specifically to listen to PC music files on a home
The second-most-popular driver among broadband users is home automation --
the ability to control lights and temperature controls via computer.
'Sharing broadband connections between multiple PCs will drive early adoption
of home networks, but music will take it mainstream,' said Joe Laszlo, senior
analyst with Jupiter Research.
'Jupiter's latest research reveals an unexpected degree of consumer interest
in delivering PC-based music to a stereo,' he added. 'The music industry must
get involved now and work to shape consumer expectations and design devices that
will make music fans and content owners happy.'
But Jupiter also predicted that two home-network schemes will emerge -- one
based on sharing PC functions and peripherals, and the other on sharing media
and overseen by television set-top boxes.
The PC version will be more prevalent -- 23 million homes, representing 29
percent of all online homes, will have PC networks by 2006, the study