Aug. 1, 2011
by Mark Ollig
Rummaging through my A-list of Internet sources, your statistical-scavenging columnist came across a recently released survey from our good friends at the Pew Research Center.
The latest polling percentages from Pew’s Internet & American Life Project, regarding American’s online video- watching habits, showed a dramatic change from just five years earlier.
Statistics from the April 26 - May 22 Spring Tracking Survey disclosed the results of questions asked of 2,277 adult Internet users, ages 18 and older.
This polling also included 755 cell phone user interviews.
YouTube, Vimeo, Videojug, and, in my humble opinion, the social networking site Facebook, are examples of online community video-sharing sites on the Internet.
Of course, there are hundreds of lesser-known video-sharing sites on the Internet which allow users to upload and share their homemade video clips.
The first survey question asked of adult Internet users 18 and over was if they “ever used a video-sharing site.”
As of May 22, the total percentage of these users, including both male and female, who answered yes was 71 percent.
Of this group, 92 percent were ages 18-29, while 80 percent were in the 30-49 age group.
The baby boomers in the 50- 64 age group acknowledging they had watched videos over a video-sharing site came in at 54 percent.
Not leaving out the senior citizens, a respectable 31 percent of those 65 and better said they, too, had at some time, watched videos over Internet online sites like YouTube.
Looking back just five years ago, the percentage of adults polled saying they had watched videos online came in at just 33 percent.
The next question asked of adults was if they had “used a video-sharing site yesterday.” In this instance, 28 percent answered yes.
Five years ago, this same question found only 8 percent answering in the affirmative.
One notable statistic from the April 26 - May 22 survey showed a dramatic percentage increase in number of people living in less populated rural areas watching and uploading videos to video-sharing sites.
In previous polling years, rural users always had a much lower percentage as compared to users living in more densely populated suburban and metropolitan urban areas.
However, it appears this year the rural area online users have caught up.
The latest survey reports 68 percent of rural adults polled as saying they had used a video-sharing site, which puts them right up there with the 71 percent of the suburban, and 72 percent of those living in the urban areas.
A couple reasons I give for this higher rural polling percentage is the rural user’s easier access to the Internet, and a more satisfying viewing experience being provided over better quality networks.
Most online users living in rural areas now have access to faster Internet data speeds because of the expansion and build-out of superior broadband technology where they are living.
Looking back five years earlier, just 21 percent of the adults polled living in rural areas said they had visited Internet video-sharing sites, compared to 38 percent of those living in urban areas.
“The rise of broadband and better mobile networks and devices has meant that video has become an increasingly popular part of users’ online experiences,” said Kathleen Moore of Pew Research in a released statement.
The growth of individual user’s creation of video content being uploaded onto YouTube-like sites is also seen as a reason for the increased polling percentage numbers.
The most recent poll shows 81 percent of parents reported visiting an online video-sharing site, compared to 61 percent of non-parents who said they had.
Pew thinks this difference is because many parents have minors living with them, and the higher percentage of those using video-sharing sites is among the younger people.
When a user uploads a video to YouTube or Facebook, they sometimes share it with friends or family, and those people will in turn, (most times), forward or share the same video with others they know.
Currently, YouTube has 28 different channel categories, including many sub-channel content topics ranging from automobiles, gaming, politics, pets, how-to’s, hobbies, sports and news, to numerous individual social categories.
In 2005, YouTube averaged 8 million video views per day.
By 2011, this number had soared to over 3 billion video views per day.
Here’s a recent statistic about YouTube yours truly finds incredible; every minute, 48 hours worth of video content is being uploaded to it.
The survey reports 34 percent of adult cell phone users as having recorded video, 26 percent watching video, and 22 percent uploading video to an Internet video-sharing site, using their cell phone.
Possibly at this moment, a parent on vacation near Brainerd is uploading video to YouTube from a cell phone showing their kids staring in wonderment at a 26-foot-tall (sitting) animated talking man named Paul Bunyan.