Report: Online Video Fastest-Growing Medium In The History Of The World

Having gone from zero to mass market globally in three short years, online video is the fastest-growing media platform in history, according to a new report from social media research consultancy Trendstream and research firm Lightspeed.

In one week in January, 97 million Americans viewed a streaming clip online -- as many as are tuning into any major broadcast network -- according to a recent survey of 1,000 U.S. active Web users ages 16-65.

What's more, with 72% of U.S. Web users watching clips online, Web video outstrips both blogging and social networking, and is now the leading "social-media platform."

The "broadcast mode is dead," said Tom Smith, managing director of Trendstream. "Now is the time for co-creation, user distribution and a true democratization of video content."

The report also notes the power of interactivity that online video affords. In January 2009, 39% of respondents shared a clip online, and a further 31.5% contributed to the mass of online media by uploading a clip themselves.



Homemade content is by far the most popular content to upload, with 27% of those who uploaded a clip contributing material from this genre.

Content from digital cameras is most likely to make it onto the net, as 48% of contributors used this medium to create their content.

At 26% and 22%, respectively, home PCs and mobiles are the next-most popular choices for creating content.

A full 82% of 16- and 17-year-olds watched video online, compared with 65% of those ages fifty-five to sixty four. Fifty-two percent of 16- and 17-year-olds shared video clips online, compared with 29% of 55- to 64-year-olds, and a further 46% and 21% respectively uploaded a video.

With users from across the age spectrum watching, creating and distributing video content online, the so-called "digital divide" is not as wide as might be expected, according to Trendstream. It is also clear that the online video audience is far more sophisticated and influential than was previously supposed with the heaviest viewers in the 25 to 34 age bracket.

With 49 million active Web users -- 32% -- uploading content in January 2009, users of all ages now generate far more content than traditional broadcasters and collectively contribute the majority of video content to the Web.

According to Trendstream, broadcasters who wish to engage with this highly influential and affluent group need to develop highly compelling, multi-platform content that can be accessed through multiple gateways including email, music sites, news sites, film sites, blogs and social networks.

OMD chart-Online Video

 OMD chart-Online Video

4 comments about "Report: Online Video Fastest-Growing Medium In The History Of The World".
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  1. John Grono from GAP Research, May 29, 2009 at 9:38 a.m.

    "The broadcast mode is dead" is it Mr. Smith? Let's check back in five or ten years and see, shall we. The broadcast mode will surely be somewhere between 'affected by on-line' or 'under siege by online' ... but dead ?!?!

    I'll leave the last word to Mark Twain ... "the rumours if my death have been greatly exaggerated".

  2. John Grono from GAP Research, May 29, 2009 at 6:39 p.m.

    I agree Kristi that what we know as TV will differ greatly in 10 years. Just don't underestimate the power of 'family viewing' - that is, grouping around the TV watching a programme together and sharing a laugh or even a tear - it just isn't the same as clustering around a computer screen. I like to think of 'family viewing' as "the social media on television".

    My point was that TV is NOT going to die. Remember how cinema was going to kill theatre, and how TV was going to kill both radio and cinema? Wer'e all still waiting ...

  3. Peter Contardo from Endavo Media, June 1, 2009 at 5:34 p.m.

    Online video and all the interactive features associated with it present a tremendous opportunity for organizations to build ‘social networks’ around their content. The social power of online video can be used to build communities across the web and establish relationships that go way beyond products and services. Using online video, brands can now more fully engage their audience and use them to help grow their business, which is a major factor in driving its adoption.

  4. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, June 2, 2009 at 12:04 p.m.

    I agree that broadcast TV won't die, but it will change so much that the naysayers won't recognize it...or like it nearly as much.

    As for online video, one wonders if cable's recent plans to quietly roll out metered usage (pay per byte) will slow down the use of Hulu et al.

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