Technology

71% of online adults in the US use video-sharing sites: Study

MUMBAI: More online Americans are using video-sharing sites-- and they are doing so more frequently. As of May 2011, 71 per cent of online adults reported watching videos on a video-sharing site such as YouTube or Vimeo, according to Pew Research Center.


That represents a five-percentage point increase from the 66 per cent of online adults who reported being video-sharing site users a year earlier and a 38-point increase from five years ago when the Pew Internet Project took its first reading on use of such sites.


Moreover, the use of video-sharing sites on any given day also jumped five percentage points. In the May 2001 survey, 28 per cent of online Americans said they had gone to such sites "yesterday," compared with 23 per cent who had reported using video-sharing sites "yesterday" -- or on a typical day in May 2010.


Rural Internet users are now just as likely as users in urban and suburban areas to have used these sites. Some 68 per cent of rural Internet users have gone to such sites, compared with 71 per cent of online suburbanites and 72 per cent of online urban residents. Those are statistically insignificant differences and show that since 2009, online rural residents have caught up to others in using these sites.
 
At the same time, rural Internet users are still less likely to be visiting video-sharing sites on a typical day (14 per cent versus 31 per cent and 33 per cent for suburban and urban residents, respectively).


Another notable and persistent trend is that non-white adult Internet users have higher rates of video-sharing site use than their white counterparts, a consistent finding since 2006.


Overall, 69 per cent of white Internet users said they had visited video-sharing sites, 13 points higher than in April 2009, and more than double the 31 per cent reported when the question was first asked in December 2006. At the same time, 79 per cent of online non-whites -- African-Americans, Hispanics and others -- reported using video-sharing sites. That figure is 12 points higher than April 2009, and 41 points higher than in 2006.


Parents use video-sharing sites more than non-parents: Some 81 per cent of parents in the survey reported visiting video-sharing sites, compared with 61 per cent of the non-parents. Parental use increased nine points from 72 per cent in May 2010, while non-parental use dipped slightly from the 63 per cent reported in the same survey. This increase might also be attributable to the fact that parents with minors at home are younger as a group than the non-parents cohort and use of video-sharing sites is linked to younger users. 
 
Higher use of video-sharing sites coincides with the explosion of content on YouTube, including videos produced by amateurs.


The rise in use of video-sharing sites is at least partly being driven by the growth in content on sites like YouTube and by user contributions, which then possibly encourage site visits by contributors‘ friends and others who pass around links about popular amateur videos.


The latest statistics from YouTube are that 48 hours of content are uploaded every minute to the site and the range of contributions is striking. YouTube lists 28 different categories for channels of video that are contributed and dozens of subcategories ranging from automobiles and gaming, to activism and politics.

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