The State of Online Video | Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project

Overview

Seven in ten adult internet users (69%) have used the internet to watch or download video. That represents 52% of all adults in the United States.

Driven by the popularity of online video among 18-29 year-olds, there have been dramatic increases since 2007 in the number of American adults watching:

Comedy or humorous videos, rising in viewership from 31% of adult internet users in 2007 to 50% of adult internet users in the current survey

Educational videos, rising in viewership from 22% to 38% of adult internet users

Movies or TV show videos, rising in viewership from 16% to 32% of adult internet users

Political videos, rising in viewership from 15% to 30% of adult internet users

On the other side of the camera, video creation has now become a notable feature of online life. One in seven adult internet users (14%) have uploaded a video to the internet, almost double the 8% who were uploading video in 2007. Home video is far and away the most popular content posted online, shared by 62% of video uploaders. And uploaders are just as likely to share video on social networking sites like Facebook (52% do this) as they are on more specialized video-sharing sites like YouTube (49% do this).

Yet, while video-sharing is growing in popularity, adult internet users have mixed feelings about how broadly they want to share their own creations. While 31% of uploaders say they “always” place restrictions on who can access their videos, 50% say they “never” restrict access. The remaining 19% fall somewhere in the middle. And while there is almost universal appreciation for the ease with which video-sharing sites allow uploaders to share video with family and friends, a considerable number (35%) also feel they should be more careful about what they post.

About the Survey

This report is based on data from telephone interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International between June 18-21, 2009 among a dual-frame (cell and landline) sample of 1,005 adults, 18 and older. For results based on the total sample of adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling and other random effects is plus or minus 3.6 percentage points. For results based on internet users (n=763), the margin of sampling error is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting telephone surveys may introduce some error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.

The State of Online Video | Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.

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