Pew Research’s Mary Madden, Senior Research Specialist, believes that the online video audience is growing. Not a big surprise. But she also believes that many are beginning to migrate away from the computer screen in favor of the television screen.

The recent, and poorly named, report ‘The Audience for Online Video-Sharing Sites Shoots Up’ states that online video viewership has nearly doubled since 2006. With double digit growth over the last few years this is no big surprise to those in the know. But the winds of change seem to be blowing on what screen they are watching that video on.

Approximately 62% of adult internet users have reported watching some video online via sites like YouTube and Google Video, 33% more than the same report in December 2006. Of those, young adults (18-29) are leading the way with about 90% of them having done it and 36% watching daily. That outstrips social networking sites, downloading of podcasts and using Twitter.

Where is all this time to watch videos online coming from? Television watching is apparently taking a hit but not as much as some would have you believe. 19% of Internet users say they check out an online video on an average day and 35% of users say that they have watched television shows or movies online. 16% of young adults are doing so daily which may be part of the drop in traditional television watching. They’re still seeing the same shows they normally would, just at a time and place of their own choosing instead of when the broadcast companies dictate.

The amazing numbers are regarding those who are tired of sitting in front of their computer but yet still want to watch video online. A full 23% say they have migrated off of their computer monitor and onto their TV screen allowing them to hang out on the couch or with other family members. That’s about 8% of all Internet users (including Christophor’s father we hear). Almost one in ten people are doing this which is a fairly large share and TV manufacturers are responding by including Wi-Fi, Internet Widgets and connectivity in new TV sets. Is this the wave of the future? It looks like online video and social networks are going to converge on that same platform through a host of social TV widgets that are popping up. It will be an interesting trend to watch.

The TV widget industry is suddenly beginning to boom and ‘Social TV’ seems to be taking off suddenly. This might be the convergence of TV and Internet we have been expecting for some time…all thanks to online video.

Online viewership is growing across the board. All age groups have shown an increase with young adults climbing 72% since last year’s report. The 30-49 demographic grew 10% to 67% this past year while a healthy 41% of 50-64-year-olds are doing it as well and over a quarter (27%) of 65+.

Women have also shown a marked growth in online video viewing with a 13% rise in the last year to 59% overall. That’s only 6% less than men. Education and income play almost no role in whether or not users are watching video online.

Those with mobile phones who are watching video online are showing growth as well, up to 14% this year. However, they are still more likely (19%) to record a video with their phone than to watch one.

22% responded that they have cut back on television or cable services in the last year compared to 9% who have cut back on Internet services. Of that 22%, nearly a third of them have done so as they have connected their computer to their TV for online video viewing.

The research was compiled from March 26 to April 19, 2009 using data from 2,253 adults aged 18 and older gathered via telephone interviews. The error margin stated is 2.4% +/- and response rates were around 20% for both landline and cellular-based respondents.