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People Watch Boatloads of Online Video




Computer and RootsThank you to Carol Bartz of Yahoo for the new ‘boatloads’ theme. What would we do without it? Back to the news. Of course, we know that lots of people watch online video and SearchEngineWatch tells of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project survey conducted in April of this year and the numbers behind the general statement about online video are pretty interesting. As with any research it’s good to know the source and the group studied so here’s the skinny on the research methodology

The report is based on the findings of a daily tracking survey on Americans’ use of the Internet. The results are based on data from telephone interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research International between March 26 to April 19, 2009, among a sample of 2,253 adults, 18 and older.

Now for some numbers:

  • The number of people using video sharing sites has gone from 33% in 2006 to 62% in 2009
  • 89 percent of internet users ages 18-29 now say they watch content on video sharing sites, and 36 percent do so on a typical day
  • 46 percent of adult internet users are active on social networking sites, which makes the 62% number for video more impressive. How the research defines social networking sites of course impacts this because YouTube can be clumped in there quite readily.
  • Evidence of some possible alternative definitions of social networking sites can be found by the statement that 11 percent use status updating sites like Twitter. Normally Twitter is part of social networking but to have it peeled off under the category of “status updating” site is kind of odd. What’s Facebook then a “What’s on your mind?” site vs. a social networking site?

As with any research we need to take it with a grain of salt. Online video consumption will need to be watched based on age more than any other measurement. The 30 and under (specifically 18-29 years old) set registers an 89% of Internet users having used a video sharing site and 36% doing so daily. My response is for these folks to maybe exercise their bodies as well as their eyes but that’s just me.

So what are your video habits? Do you have to see the latest stupid human trick on YouTube or else your day is not complete? Do you turn to video for product information regularly? While it’s interesting to know the total numbers what is more informative is the specific types of video consumed on these sites and how Internet marketers can take advantage of these habits. Tell us your deepest, darkest online video habits but please keep it in the realm of ‘family viewing’. No one really wants to know everything you watch online ;-).