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66% of Internet users viewed online video; Wal-Mart joins the fray has released a study that indicates that 66% of Internet users age 18 and up surveyed viewed online video content at least once a week. divided their results into two age demographics: 18 to 34 and 35 and up.

Key findings for each demographic included:

  • 18 to 34

    • 44% of online video viewers fell into this age group.
    • Most popular video-related activities: watching TV episodes online, creating videos and forwarding clips to friends.
    • Prefers streaming entertainment (music videos, TV shows, movie trailers).
  • 35 and up
    • A whopping 56% of online video viewers were age 35 or over.
    • More likely to stream news and sports clips.

The study also found that news and entertainment were the most popular streamed content and 15-second ad spots performed better, with a 20% higher end-play rate than 30-second ad spots. This fell in line with consumers’ preferences, as 66% said the number one thing that would make video advertising “more pleasurable” would be “shorter ads than television.”

Also today in online video, retail giant Wal-Mart steps into the fray. They’re offering movie downloads at (surprise, surprise) slashed prices. That’s right, you can save over iTunes now: an incredible $0.04 per TV episode ($1.96 versus $2.00). In addition to television episodes, Wal-Mart will offer movie downloads for $12.88 to $19.88. Older movies will be $7.50 (versus iTunes’ $9.99).

The movies will be available in a Windows Media Player compatible format (read: Zune), and won’t play on Apple computers or an iPod. You also can’t burn the movies onto a DVD, although Wal-Mart hopes to make that a possibility later this year. And of course, you can’t play them on your TV—but if you wanted that, you should have bought the DVD.

Wal-Mart’s initial beta inventory will include 3000 movies from all the major studios and telvision shows from Fox Broadcasting. However, ABC, CBS and NBC are not currently participating (Wal-Mart hopes to ensnare add them soon). In the offline world, Wal-Mart accounts for nearly 40% of DVD sales, which the E-Commerce Times speculates might be why they have such broad participation among movie studios.

I’d tell you more about the beta, but apparently the Wal-Mart video download page should be sent back to alpha: clicking on the link from Wal-Mart’s home page brings up a horribly garbled landing page. Does it say something about authorization for R-rated movies? I can’t tell. Is it just me?

Hopefully this problem is resolved quickly. Then again, Wal-Mart will do just fine without it.