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Online Videos Becoming Increasingly Popular

June 4, 2010

According to a survey released Thursday, over half of U.S. adults have watched video online and comedy clips have replaced news as the most popular video on the Internet.

The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project found that 69 percent of adult Internet users have used the Web to watch or download video.

Fourteen percent of adult Internet users said they uploaded a video online, which is up from eight percent in 2007.  Fifty-two percent said they shared their video on MySpace or Facebook and 49 percent on YouTube.

Half of the adult Internet users said they have viewed comedy videos on the Internet, up from 31 percent in 2007.  Forty-three percent said they have viewed news videos, up from 37 percent.

The survey showed that 38 percent of adult Internet users said they have viewed educational videos on the Web, up from 22 percent in 2007, and 32 percent said they have watched movies or television shows, up 16 percent.

Political videos also grew in popularity as 30 percent of adult Internet users said they watched political videos online, up from 15 percent three years ago.

The number of Internet users willing to pay for video content online still remains small.

Only one in 10 video watchers, or seven percent of all Internet users, said they have paid to watch or download a video.

“We are seeing a surge in online video watching,” Kristen Purcell, a Pew associate director for research, told AFP news.

She said the increase was being “driven by a combination of broadband access, the increasing use of social networking sites and the popularity of video-sharing sites.”

“Untold numbers of websites now showcase online video as part of their content,” she added.

According to the poll, 18- to 29-year-olds were the leading video watchers.

The survey was conducted on 1,005 adults in June 18-21 last year.  It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

The poll was released after Internet tracking firm comScore reported that about 178 million Americans watched over 30.3 billion videos online in the U.S. in April.

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