Survey: Users Support Ad Supported Video

Over half of all U.S. Internet users watch and download online video, according to a survey conducted jointly by AP and AOL. Close to three-quarters of viewers prefer ad-supported content to paid.

Clips and full-length video are watched by 54 percent of Web users in the U.S., and 32 percent of that group says they watch more online video than one year ago.

Interestingly, online video users exhibit a preference for ad-supported content. Seventy one percent prefer to watch an ad for free video while 23 percent said they would rather pay for ad-free video.

Demand for ad-supported video still hasn’t provided enough inventory. “Right now there’s not,” VP of AOL Video Fred McIntyre told ClickZ News regarding inventory availability. “As we get more and more people finding video through AOL, we’ll create more inventory through that process.”

News is the highest-watched category of video online. Seventy-two percent watch clips reporting current events and other news, whereas 59 percent of users watch TV and movie clips on the Internet.

“We think the Internet becomes just another way for people to get this programming, as opposed to a zero-sum battle with other media,” said McIntyre.

About 69 percent search for online video; 61 percent are often notified virally by friends; and 58 percent regularly search sites which host video.

The survey examined the habits of 1,347 online video users.

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