62% of US online adults watch video

The share of online adults who watch videos on video-sharing sites has nearly doubled since 2006, according to a survey by the Pew Research Centre’s Internet & American Life Project.

Audiences for Web sites like YouTube and Google Video continue to grow swiftly across all demographic groups, far outpacing the adoption rates of many other Internet activities. Fully, 62 per cent of adult Internet users have watched a video on these sites, up from just 33 per cent who reported this in December 2006. Online video watching among young adults is near-universal; nine-in-ten (89 per cent) internet users ages 18-29 now say they watch content on video-sharing sites, and 36 per cent do so on a typical day.

While much of the content on video-sharing sites is user-generated, a growing archive of professional content is also available through YouTube and newer network-sponsored video portals like Hulu. Efforts to lure viewers to these portals appear to be paying off, as more than a third of Internet users (35 per cent) now say they have viewed a television show or movie online. In comparison, just 16 per cent of Internet users said they had watched or downloaded movies or TV shows when asked a similar question in 2007.

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