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Online Video Is Mainstream, Not Traditional Length

More than half of Americans with Internet access watch video online, but most are watching short clips, rather than full-length TV shows or movies.
Online video has gained popularity, but most Americans still haven't downloaded or streamed a full-length television show, according to a recent poll.

Ipsos Insight released results Monday from a Motion Winter Wave study that polled a sampling of U.S. residents ages 12 and up in December and followed up in January with those who had downloaded or streamed video content. The marketing research group's biannual study found that online video has gone mainstream.

More than half of Americans age 12 or older with Internet access, or 44% of the overall population, has streamed video online, according to the report. More than one in four has downloaded a digital video file, according to Ipsos.

"Clearly the YouTube phenomenon has caught on with Americans, and given their appetite for video, the ability to select and watch exactly what you want online has become a strong lure for many consumers," Brian Cruikshank, executive VP of the Ipsos Insight Technology & Communications practice, said in a prepared statement. "And it's instant gratification for entertainment lovers. While streaming video online has clearly emerged as Americans' favorite way to access video online, it also may be blazing a trail for other video formats and acquisition methods in the future."

Three out of every four people between the ages of 12 and 24 have streamed video online, and, according to Ipsos, those who stream video are likely to have higher incomes and be more highly educated than other Internet users.

They appear to be watching more digital video on PCs and portable devices, while avoiding traditional video delivery, according to the report. Teens and young adults store 20% of their video libraries digitally on hard drives or have burned content onto DVD-R, according to Ipsos.

Internet users seem to prefer short video clips, and YouTube is probably the force behind the popularity of short clips, according to the market research group. Seventy-five percent of people who stream video have streamed short news or sports clips and 40% have accessed YouTube, according to the report. One in five people who stream video has visited MySpace and Google Video, according to the report.

Although most Americans have not streamed or downloaded full-length television shows or movies, 43% of people who watch video online expressed interest in downloading full-length movies soon. Thirty-eight percent expressed interest in downloading full-length television shows soon.

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Brian T. Horowitz, Contributing Reporter
Samuel Greengard, Contributing Reporter
Nathan Eddy, Freelance Writer
Brandon Taylor, Digital Editorial Program Manager
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing