The number of adult Americans who watch online video has risen to 78% while those who upload video to the internet has doubled since 2008 from 14% to 31%. The findings, from Pew Internet, also confirm that 18% of adult internet users post videos they have created or recorded themselves and that mobile devices are playing a huge part in the increase of online video activity. It’s a pretty lengthy report but Pew have summed it up in this short video:

Online Video In The U.S: Main Findings From The Pew Report

  • The percentage of online adults in the U.S. who use video sharing sites like Vimeo or YouTube has grown from 33% to the current figure of 72% since 2006.
  • 27% of adult Internet users have uploaded a video to the Internet for others to watch or download while 18% have posted videos that they have taken or created themselves.
  • 41% of 18-29 year-old internet users and 36% of 30-49 year-old internet users post or share videos online.
  • 36% of adults have downloaded a video to a mobile device or desktop to watch later.
  • 56% of adults watch informational or ‘how to’ videos.
  • 35% of adults who post videos online (11% of all adult internet users) hope to see their video go viral

What Americans Watch And How They Watch It

78% of adults with internet connections watch or download video, that up from 69% four years ago, according to the Pew survey. An average of 72% of adults regularly watch video via sites like YouTube although this number is considerably higher amongst 18 to 29 year olds. 45% of users aged between 30 and 49 download videos to watch later on their desktops or mobile devices.

Adults Under 50 Watching Video - Pew

As with the previous 2009 report, Pew found that comedy and educational videos were the most highly watched types of content with 57% of all online adults saying they watch comedy videos and 50% of online adults saying they watch educational videos. These two genres are now joined at the top of the list by how-to videos, watched by 56% of online adults, and music videos. 50% of all online adults now watch music videos compared to 32% in 2009.

Video Content Watched - Pew

What Americans Upload And Why They Upload It

34% of Americans aged between 18 and 29 uploaded a video to the internet for others to watch, while 28% of those surveyed in the same age range uploaded a video they had created themselves.

Online Adults Under 50 Posting Video Online - Pew

As the above chart shows, the younger the participant, the more likely they were to post and share videos online. 71% of video posters uploaded to social networking sites, 40% used their mobiles to record video while 23% used a mobile app to upload video to the internet.

58% of those who uploaded video content chose to post video of friends and family rather than overly scripted footage. 45% uploaded a video of their pet or another animal.

Video Content Created To Post Online

Video Sharing Sites

The Pew survey credits sites like YouTube and Vimeo as the driving force behind the increase in uploading activity. Usage of these sites have increased from 33% to 72% since 2006.

Video Sharing Usage 2013

Kristen Purcell, Associate Director of Research at Pew confirmed that:

As the online video culture grows – fueled by video-sharing sites, mobile phones and online social networking – posting videos online is becoming a mainstream online behavior

Pew’s findings are from a survey of 1,003 adults conducted this summer. You Can download the report from this page.