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Online Video Booming, YouTube Still Leading

Posted on 7.25.2007

If you needed another reason to be convinced of online video's explosion on the Web, and why it should be part of your marketing mix, keep reading.

According to a survey from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 57% of online adults in the U.S. have used the Internet to watch video. That number swells to 74% for those who have high-speed connections. Not surprisingly, young adults ages 18-29 watch the most online video (76%) followed by those 30-49 (57%) and, somewhat surprisingly, those ages 50-64 (46%). The most popular categories are news (37%), Comedy (31%), Music (22%) and Educational (22%) - think instructional videos and how-to's.

Some other findings:

  • 75% of respondents have received video links from others
  • 57% have sent video links to others
  • 13% upload video
  • 7% pay for video
  • 59% of online video consumers watch their video at home, while 24% watch at work.

(One of the big takeaways here is the first two figures. Create a good video and your message has a good shot at being shared and becoming a true viral message.)

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Amateur vs. Professional:

Most (62%) prefer videos that are "professionally produced" over video "produced by amateurs." However, young adult men, the highly sought after group for most marketers, have a different opinon. Of that group, 43% prefer professional video, while 34% prefer amateur content.

Where and What:

Overall, 27% of viewers chose YouTube to watch (that number reaches 49% for viewers ages 18-29.) News websites came in second (12%), next was Cable or network TV sites (9%), Yahoo (9%) and MySpace (6%). "Other" accounted for 21%.

News videos lead the way with 37% of all views. This is not surprising, considering that news channels were one of the first to take advantage of online video. Also, news feeds are available across almost all networks - including YouTube. As you might expect, the news category drops off for young adults ages 18-29 - that group watches only 43% news, compared to 56% comedy/humor.

Educational videos should get some special attention: this is where you can use the power and reach of online video to promote your products or services by educating your consumers. Of all online video viewers, 22% watched some form of education video (how-to, DIY, home remodeling or learning a language, for example). What's interesting is that the variation across age groups is limited. Everyone is watching education video. The 18-29 group leads the way with 28%, while the 65+ group came in a at 21%. Last for education videos were those ages 50-64, at 17%.

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