Earlier this year, when I first arrived in London, I found a report by AOL called Broadband Britain: The end of asymmetry. It quoted stats from (I believe) the IAB UK about the growth of broadband penetration in British homes (which jumped from 59% to 73% in the previous year). This meant that the UK was about to experience a significant change in how they accessed, and therefore how they used the Internet. Culturally, I knew that this would also bring about a change in perception about the Internet as a tool for communication (and I don’t just mean advertising, I mean as a social tool).
I have also posted on my blog about the growth of online video as a viable means of getting your message out there. Even if your message is a personal message that simply needs to be seen by family and friends elsewhere in the world, not an advertising message that someone is paying you to deliver, the Web is now set up to provide this service. In fact, the Web is becoming the place where you edit your videos as well as to send them out.
Recently, Nielsen Netratings published a list of the UK’s hottest online brands (this link is to a PDF file) and when you look down the list, it validates what the AOL report was saying (as well as my own hunches) about the future of the online world in the UK.
The hottest brands in the UK are:
1. YouTube (Video Sharing Website)
2. Flickr (Photo Management and Sharing)
3. MySpace (Social Networking)
4. American Express (Financial Services)
5. Photobucket (Image/video hosting and sharing)
6. Mozilla (Web Browsing Software)
7. Vodafone (Telecommunications)
8. Bebo (Social Networking)
9. Odeon (Cinemas)
10. B&Q (Home and Garden Retail)
The proliferation of sites on this list that are to do with sharing one’s life with one’s friends (or mates, since I’m in the UK) shows the impact of more people having Broadband access, and thus spending more time on the Web (not connecting to it)…