The Internet seems to be the leading way for Americans to ignore the global financial meltdown. But out of all the distractions the web offers what do you think was the number one thing? Well, if ReelSEO is writing about it, you can bet it’s online video.

pewdiversionRecent research from Pew Internet and American Life (The Internet as a Diversion) shows that American love to lose themselves in what video online has to offer in order to forget about the external woes that are mounting around the world in relation to the financial crisis.  The research revolved around what Pew is calling ‘online economic users’ which are about 69% of American adults, 88% of Internet Users. These are people who have used the Internet to:

  • To keep up with the news about the nation’s economy
  • To deal with their own financial situation
  • To share their thoughts about what is happening with the economy

It was done via a phone survey that covered 2,253 people in March and April of this year. Of these people 74% said they also use the Internet to relax and take their minds off the economic crisis.

Those under the age of 30, were quite interested in video with 74% saying they do it and 40% of them are posting some sort of creative content online. Meanwhile, the majority of users 31-49 are also heading online to check into the video scene, some 58% stated that was what they were doing. These numbers had little deviation between male and female and race, socio-economic status, etc also had little to do with variations.

Online usage by ageThe interesting thing is that Internet is a major diversion for these online economic users whether they have been personally affected by the recession or not. In other words, it’s becoming a mainstream leisure activity, which we already knew.

Of the 48% in good financial status, 58% went online to watch video, where 52% of those in good/poor financial situations did the same. 45% said they were not personally affected by the recession and 58% of them said they go online to watch video. So it seems that the majority of these users who are watching video have not been hit be the recession and are in fairly good financial situations. That’s great news for online advertisers and marketers because it means that people who have money are online and watching videos most likely including online video advertisements.  If you do that math it’s 27.8% of these users who are in good financial states and watching online video. If you extrapolate that out to 88% of internet users that is roughly 25% of Internet users who are doing it. I know that’s a lot of tricky math and with such a small sample rate it’s hard to say how accurate that is so consider it only an approximation.

Other interesting facts from the study include:

  • 76% went online to find the lowest price on something they need/want to buy.
  • 46% of online economic users who go online as a diversion have also gone online to find or use online coupons.
  • 26% have sold personal items on an online auction site.
  • 15% have signed up online for automatic updates about economic or financial issues, and an additional 15% have tagged or categorized online content related to economic or financial issues.
  • 13% have shared photos, videos or audio files about economic or financial issues.