Pew Finds Increased Use of Video-Sharing Sites
48% of Internet users have been to video-sharing sites such as YouTube, and the daily traffic to such sites on a typical day has doubled in the past year, according to a report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project.
The basic findings in the national phone survey that ended in December show:
- 48% of Internet users said they had visited a video-sharing site such as YouTube. A year ago, in December 2006, 33% of Internet users said they had visited such sites. That represents growth of more than 45% year-to-year.
- 15% of respondents said they had used a video-sharing site "yesterday" -- the day before they were contacted for the survey. A year ago, 8% had visited such a site "yesterday." Thus, on an average day, the number of users of video sites nearly doubled from the end of 2006 to the end of 2007.
The report attributes that sharp increase in adoption to a combination of factors, including the spread of broadband and the growing catalog of content on YouTube and comparable sites. Over the past year broadband at home grew from 45 percent of American households to 54 percent.
"What we see with broadband, once people get used to it, invest in it, and figure out what it means in their lives, is the Internet becomes a much more central utility in their life," said Lee Rainie, director at the Pew Institute & American Life Project. As much as it is a utility, he added, the Internet can also function as a diversion, entertainment channel, or vehicle of enlightenment.
"Part of the supply side of the story is that the technology used to create videos has become easy to use, and less expensive," said Rainie in an interview with ClickZ Stats. He added that so many cell phones have video capabilities; filming video is "is now a highly spontaneous act in many cases."
The sheer volume and range of content is a draw for many, particularly as the caliber of video talent extends beyond the amateur. Rainie noted professors post lectures, Ministers film sermons, and other instructional videos find their way to various sites. In addition, professional content including music videos, TV and movie clips are posted and viewed. Clearly, he said, what's behind the growth is partly the technology and "partly that there's a lot more stuff to enjoy."
The demographic characteristics of those who peruse YouTube have broadened, to judge by the report. The percentage of women who view videos on an average day increased from 5 percent to 11 percent in the past year, a 120 percent jump. Additionally, more of those between 30 and 49 have added viral video to their media routines. The percentage of people in that age range grew from 7 percent in 2006 to 14 percent by the end of 2007, a 100 percent increase.
While this was a national study focused on the US market, the results mirror similar audiences around the world. Amateur video sites featuring user-generated content are currently enjoying unprecedented popularity in Europe. Membership models which pay up-loaders per-view are finding themselves receiving abundant content and traffic. If you are operating a video sharing site or have plans to do so, take a global approach optimizing your success rate with translations and targeted billing strategies. Mail me for information on translating your sites and implementing direct debit billing for top European markets.
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