Popularity of Online Video Doubled in 2007

Popularity of Online Video Doubled in 2007

Barry Levine, newsfactor.com
Jan. 11, 2008

If you think you’ve been spending more time watching video online,
you’re not alone. A new report from the Pew Internet & American
Life Project, released this week, said that the daily traffic to sites
such as YouTube doubled in 2007, and that nearly half of all adult
Internet users have visited such sites.

A year ago, in December 2006, about 33 percent of Internet users had
been to video-sharing sites, Pew said, and it’s now up to 48 percent —
a jump of 45 percent. In fact, 15 percent of the 2,054 adults surveyed
between late October and early December said they visited a
video-sharing site the day before they were polled in the survey,
compared to 8 percent in 2006.

Men continue to lead women among those who said they had visited a
video-sharing site, with 53 percent compared to 43 percent. Last year,
the figures were 40 percent and 27 percent, and women’s increased usage
is part of the reason for the jump. Average daily use among women
increased 120 percent, from 5 percent to 11 percent.

The report tied the growth in the popularity of online video to
increased access to broadband, and to the fact that there are more
videos on YouTube and other sites than there were previously, including
more amateur video. More than three times as many people who shoot
their own videos now post them online, compared to the middle of 2006.

"Everything connected to online video doubled last year," said James
McQuivey, an analyst at industry research firm Forrester. In
particular, he cited the amount of time people spent with video and the
number of people who watch full episodes of television shows online.

Growth Not Yet Finished

This ratcheting-up in the popularity of online video — more people
watch because there’s more to watch, and most video is posted because
more people are watching — is "far from over," McQuivey said.

"In 2008, more content owners will respond by making their content even
more available online than in 2007," he said. He also pointed to new
video sites, such as Hulu.com, that will begin to impact viewing
patterns. Hulu.com will come out of its current beta this year,
McQuivey said, and "share its primetime and classic television shows
with major sites like Yahoo, AOL, and MSN."

Hulu.com’s initiatives, he predicted, will increase the amount of
time people watch video online. But he said he believes that time spent
with online video won’t rival the average amount of time that adults
spend watching traditional television, as some have been predicting.

Still, many are not passively watching video content on the Internet
in the same manner in which they watch TV. For example, a previous Pew
report, released last July, showed that young adults are the "most
active participants" in using participatory features of online video,
such as rating content, posting feedback, and uploading video.

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