Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Pew Reports 71% of Online Americans use video-sharing

The latest study from the Pew Internet & American Life Project shows that more and more Americans online are making use of video-sharing sites like YouTube and Vimeo - and are also using them more frequently.  28% reported using a video-sharing site "yesterday."

Some of the demographic breakdowns are also interesting.  Men and Women were equally likely to have ever visited video-sharing sites, although Men were slightly more likely to have used "yesterday."  Minorities were more likely to use such sites (Hispanics 81%, Blacks 76%) than Whites (68%), and younger adults were more likely (92% of 18-29 and 80% of 30-49) than older adults (54% of 50-64 and 31% of those 65+).  There was a slight positive correlation between use and income levels, and those with high school or less education were less likely to use video-sharing sites (63%) than those with at least some college (75%).  The gains were greatest for online Americans located in rural areas (from 37% in June 2009 to 68% in April 2011), bringing that level of usage nearly to suburban (71%) and urban (72%) levels.

The Pew report suggests that the higher levels of use seems to derive from the growth in available content on video-sharing sites, noting that YouTube is reporting that, on average, 48 hours of content is uploaded every minute.  I'd add three other factors that are likely to add to the continued growth in usage of video-sharing sites:
  1. The continued expansion of broadband services and accessibility (video is relatively high bandwidth)
  2. The expansion of mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) and net-connected devices linked to TVs (net-TV, video-players and game systems with net services, and other net-TV interfaces like Apple TV, Roku, and Google TV), that include the ability to access YouTube and similar sites
  3. The rise of social media services that allow videos to be shared easily.
Since all of these factors continue to make use of video-sharing easier and more valuable, look for continued growth, particularly in the frequency of usage.  

Source: "71% of Online Adults Now Use Video-Sharing Sites," PewResearchCenter release

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