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Broadcasting over the internet presents a new frontier for media and advertising industries to conquer. At the local level, the greatest asset of a television station is its “localism”—with the audience still regarding television stations as the most effective source for local weather, traffic, and sports news as well as advertising—compared to cable television, public television, newspapers, magazine, or the internet. Hence, the unique advantage that a television station website can offer may involve providing locally-oriented webcasting services as well as serving as a portal to features and other websites of local interest. This study explored the profile of early adopters of webcasting, the potential predictors of webcasting adoption, and audience interest in different types of local webcast features. A national sample representing the top 50 television markets in the United States was interviewed via a computer-assisted telephone interviewing system for data collection. Study results found that webcasting adopters suited the profile of “early adopters” of online technology. Moreover, personal innovativeness, perceived utilities of webcasting as well as online-use frequency and per-online-use duration were found to be significant predictors of webcasting adoption (although demographic characteristics were not). Findings on audience adoption interest in local webcast features, and their implications for advertisers, were also discussed.
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