71% of Online Adults Use Video-Sharing Sites

If you read this blog, you know I am a huge fan of content marketing and especially of video marketing. With YouTube still holding strong as the second largest search engine in the world and Vimeo not far behind, video content remains one of the most effective means for sharing complex information in an easy-to-digest and highly sharable way, while video blogging adds that personal touch to though leadership efforts.  

Well, now you have another reason to leverage video sites. A new Pew Research study shows that 71% of online adults are now using video sharing sites like YouTube. This represents a 5% increase over last year and a 38% increase from five years ago.

Moreover, the use of video-sharing sites on any given day also jumped 5%. In May 2001, 28% of online Americans said they had gone to video sharing sites “yesterday,” compared with 23% who had reported using video-sharing sites “yesterday” — or on a typical day in May 2010.

YouTube isn’t just for city slickers anymore.

The study also shows that rural internet users are now just as likely as users in urban and suburban areas to have used these sites.

Some 68% of rural internet users have visited video sharing sites, compared with 71% of online suburbanites and 72% of online urban residents.

At the same time, rural internet users are still less likely to be visiting video-sharing sites on a typical day (14% vs. 31% and 33% for suburban and urban residents, respectively).

Non-whites are more likely to use video-sharing sites

Another notable trend is that non-white adult internet users have higher rates of video-sharing site use than their white counterparts, a consistent finding since 2006.

Overall, 69% of white internet users said they had visited video-sharing sites, 13% higher than in April 2009, and more than double the 31% reported when the question was first asked in December 2006.2 At the same time, 79% of online non-whites — African-Americans, Hispanics and others — reported using video-sharing sites. That figure is 12 points higher than April 2009, and 41 points higher than in 2006.

Parents use video sites more than non-parents

This one surprised me a little only because I know very few of my married with children friends seem to have time for social media, but according to Pew, 81% of parents reported visiting video-sharing sites, compared with 61% of the non-parents. Parental use increased nine points from 72% in May 2010, while non-parental use dipped slightly from the 63% reported in the same survey.3 This increase might also be attributable to the fact that parents with minors at home are younger as a group than the non-parents cohort and use of video-sharing sites is linked to younger users.

Higher use of video-sharing sites coincides with the explosion of content on YouTube, including videos produced by amateurs.

The rise in use of video-sharing sites is at least partly being driven by the growth in content on sites like YouTube and by user contributions. The rise in use of video-sharing sites is at least partly being driven by the growth in content on sites like YouTube and by user contributions, which then possibly encourage site visits by contributors’ friends and others who pass around links about popular amateur videos. The latest statistics from YouTube are that 48 hours of content are uploaded every minute to the site and the range of contributions is striking. YouTube lists 28 different categories for channels of video that are contributed and dozens of subcategories ranging from automobiles and gaming, to activism and politics.

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