The number of U.S. users viewing video-sharing sites such as YouTube has almost doubled since 2006, according to research by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. The survey, conducted with a sample of 2,253 respondents in April 2009, found that 62 percent of adult internet users have used video sharing sites, up from the 33 percent who had done so in December 2006.
Unsurprisingly, user generated video was most popular amongst younger adults, with 89 percent of users aged 18-29 having consumed such content, and 36 percent claiming to do so on a typical day. Overall, 19 percent of respondents said they used video sharing sites on a typical day when asked in 2009, compared with just 8 percent in 2006. This figure is even higher among broadband users, at 23 percent.
In addition to user-generated video, more than a third (35 percent) of users said they had legally watched professionally produced TV or movie content on sites such as YouTube or Hulu. Among that group, 23 percent said they have connected their computer to a television screen so they could view video from the Internet on their TV. That equates to around 8 percent of respondents overall.
The survey also revealed the use of online video-sharing sites is outranking social networking in terms of popularity, with only 46 percent of U.S. adult users claiming to be active on sites such as Facebook and MySpace. Recent data from ComScore suggests that U.K. users are therefore far more engaged with social networks than their U.S. counterparts, with almost 80 percent of British users logging into social networking services during the month of May.