Pew: Online Video Ads More Popular Than Adult Content

WASHINGTON — Nonprofit "fact tank" Pew Internet released results of its online video survey which said 13 percent of online users download advertisements, while a mere 6 percent admit to downloading adult material.

A Pew representative told XBIZ that the survey was conducted over the telephone between February and March using a randomly generated phone number system. Of the more than 19,000 numbers dialed, 2,200 people 18 and older responded.

Only 57 percent said they use the Internet to watch videos in general.

Jason Lee Miller, an editor and business and technology writer for WebProNews, noticed the surprisingly low number of online video watchers and told XBIZ that he was especially surprised by the small percentage of respondents who admitted to watching adult video online.

"I just don't buy it," Miller said. "I think there's a lot more to it than that. I think that people just are embarrassed to say whether they [download adult] or not."

A recent Jupiter Research study found that broadband penetration across the U.S. is expected to reach 86 million subscribers in the next five years.

Though Miller said that 57 percent is an unexpectedly low number with regard to the broadband explosion, it is possible to attribute it to an older generation of Internet users who are less apt to click the play button on their computer screens.

"But even then, we have younger demographics watching most videos [online]," Miller said. "It would stand to reason that more than 6 percent would be watching adult material."

Miller reported in his most recent blog post his own conclusions from reading Pew's video survey results.

"Just 6 percent admitted to watching or downloading adult videos online in Pew Internet's latest online video survey, which means approximately 84 percent of them are big fat liars," he wrote. "I can't confirm that last number."

As for the popularity of online advertisements, Miller recalled several popular viral ad campaigns posted on video-sharing networks like, including ones by Burger King and Budweiser.

"People enjoy watching them because they're very funny," Miller said. "People have a tendency just to click the play button no matter what's there, so if they see a video, they'll hit 'Play' without even thinking about it. Whether or not they watch the whole thing is a different thing altogether."

The Pew Internet survey can be read in its entirety here .