I knew as soon as I said forget the dial ups there would be a post about that. LOL
We have an international audience here on the fourm so not all markets are created equal. I googled "internet usage" and found this link
This article was written about 1 year ago (Aug 2004). It sais that about 63 million users have broadband connections which accounts for 51 percent of U.S. residential users. Now this is only "residential". It does not include work place connections. This is up from 38 percent a year earlier.
QUOTE: "The number of residential broadband connections underestimates actual broadband usage because the figures do not include office connections, which many users rely on for personal Internet surfing, Leichtman noted."
This leaves about half of residential users who still have dial up. But which half do I target ?
I can't confirm this but I believe those who do not have broadband will spend a significant amount of time browsing at work or at a friends house who has broadband. It is not just the panoramic market but the whole internet that is going towards broadband. Web pages are more graphical and containg all kinds of bandwidth eating goodies. If you are on dial up now it is becasue you can't get broadband where you live. Granted a few will have dial up as a cost thing like getting it free or something. But they are only a very small part of the market.
We aint in Kansas any more Dorethy. Well except for you Cuetoyou. LOL just kidding man.
In contrast Japan has 91 percent of its users on broadband. The US apparently is lagging behind other contries in broadband usage.
Back to panoramic images. Why do people use them. In my opinion the single most largest consumer use is for "Travel" with real estate purcahse being second. That means they are looking for a place to go on vacation or looking for real estate to purchase.
Now consider that you will be spending several thousand dollars on a vacation or even millions on real estate. These people are in a higher income bracket and are very likly to have a broadband connection or at least access to one. About 2 years ago I stopped getting complaints from my clients about images taking too long to load. I have many clients who I have built vacation rental web sites for and of course done the virtual tours as well. These sites are booked solid for the season (6 months) ALL of these bookings are a result of the web site and tours. Not a single booking has been made (at least with my clients) without the users first seeing the virtual tour. I used to get complaints every month or so about a user who could not load the panos. Upon investigation it always turned out to be a dial up connection. I have not had a single complaint about this in the past 2 years. This tells me dial up is not an issue anymore. Back then I was using file sizes around 250kb or less
What I mean by "they will wait" is the fact that it is doubtful a person is going to go on vacation without first doing some internet research. Heck we aren't even talking about how many users "book online". I think this number is very high like 90 percent of something. If they are booking online they are taking the tours.
In my market and with the kind of tours I do it is very unlikley I will have any problems with dial up. This is due to the prouduct I am photographing. For example a person who can afford a 3 million dollar house is going to have a broadband connection. Likewise a person who can afford a $500 a day rental home will have broadband as well.
There are many uses for pano's and what market you target depends on this. If you live where dial up is the most used kind of connection then you will have to deliver for that.