Online video content gains audiences in US

MUMBAI: The widespread deployment of broadband combined with promotions by content providers has helped pave the way for mainstream audiences to adopt online video viewing.

A report from Pew shows that the majority of adult internet users in the US (57 per cent) report watching or downloading some type of online video content and 19 per cent do so on a typical day.

Three-quarters of broadband users (74 per cent) who enjoy high-speed connections at both home and work watch or download video online. Looking separately at those who have access to a high-speed connection at home, 66 per cent report online video consumption, compared with 39 per cent of home dial-up users.


Yet, some online video viewers who have dial-up at home are able to supplement their access with broadband connections at work. Among those who are truly relegated to slow connections at home and work, just 31 per cent say they have watched or downloaded video online.

Young adults (aged 18-29) are among the most voracious video viewers. Three-in-four young adult internet users (76 per cent) report online consumption of video, compared with 57 per cent of online adults ages 30-49.

Less than half (46 per cent) of internet users in the age group of 50-64 years watch or download video and just 39 per cent of those aged 65 and older do so. On a typical day, young adults‘ video consumption also outpaces that of older users:

Roughly one in three (31 per cent ) internet users aged 18-29 said they watched or downloaded some type of video on a typical day during the period of this survey. By comparison, 18 per cent of internet users ages 30-49, 12 per cent of those 50-64 and 10 per cent of those 65 and older watch or download any type of video on the average day.

News outlets are most popular - except among the young: News outlets were among the first big investors in the online video realm and their early-mover advantage shows. News content captures the attention of users across all generations, and is the most popular genre with every age group except for those ages 18-29. Overall, 37 per cent of adult internet users say they watch news videos, followed closely by comedy or humorous videos at 31 per cent.

For young adults, comedy is a bigger draw, with 56 per cent watching humorous videos, compared with 43 per cent of internet users ages 18-29 who say they watch news videos.

The desire to share a viewing experience with others has already been a powerful force in seeding the online video market. 57 per cent of online video viewers share links to the videos they find online with others. Young adults are the most ‘contagious carriers‘ in the viral spread of online video. Two-in-three (67 per cent) video viewers aged 18-29 send others links to videos they find online, compared with just half of video viewers aged 30 and older.

Video viewers who actively exploit the participatory features of online video - such as rating content, posting feedback or uploading video - make up the motivated minority of the online video audience. Again, young adults are the most active participants in this realm.

Online video consumers are just as likely to have shared a video viewing experience in person as they are to have shared video online. The picture of the lone internet user, buried in his or her computer, does not ring true with most who view online video.

57 per cent of online video viewers have watched with other people, such as friends or family. Young adults are the most social online video viewers; three out of four video consumers (73 per cent) ages 18-29 say they have watched with others.

Overall, 62 per cent of online video viewers say that their favorite videos are those that are ‘professionally produced‘ while 19 per cent of online video viewers express a preference for content ‘produced by amateurs‘. Another 11 per cent say they enjoy both professionally-produced video and amateur online video equally.

For young adult men - one of the most coveted audiences for advertisers -- there is a much narrower pro-am gap. 43 per cent of online video users in this cohort express a clear preference for professional video, while 34 per cent say they prefer amateur content. Another 19 per cent of male video viewers ages 18-29 say they enjoy both amateur and professional content.

Providing free access to video content has been central to the popularity of YouTube and other online video portals. At the moment, few online video viewers are paying for any of the video they watch; just 7 per cent say they have paid to access or download video online.

However, young adults, who are often thought to have little interest in paying for music and other digital media, are actually more likely than older video viewers to have paid for online video content. While 10 per cent of online video viewers ages 18-29 have paid to access or download online video, just three per cent of video viewers ages 50-64 have done so.


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