Seven in ten adult internet users (69%), or roughly half of all U.S. adults (52%) have used the internet to watch or download video. That figure includes internet users who say they do at least one of the following:
- Watch videos online, including short video clips, television shows, or movies (61% of adult internet users)
- Watch a video on a video-sharing site like YouTube or Google Video (61% of adult internet users)
- Download video files onto their computer so they can play them at any time they want (23% of adult internet users)
Of these three activities, the most notable change involves the exploding popularity of video-sharing sites like YouTube or Google Video. The percent of adult internet users who watch video on these sites has grown from 33% in December 2006 to 61% in the current survey.
Which internet users are most likely to be watching or downloading video? Overall, men, young adults, the more affluent and the more educated are most likely to engage in the three activities that define our group of video watchers (see table below). Broadband users are also particularly likely to watch or download online vide; 75% of adults with home broadband access are online video watchers. Among the entire population of video watchers, nine in ten (89%) have broadband at home.
Among these online video consumers, 8% have connected their computer to their television so they can watch online video on a television screen. This represents 5% of all adult internet users, which is slightly lower than the 8% of adult internet users who were watching online video on their television screens in an April 2009 Pew Internet survey.
One in ten video watchers (10%), or 7% of adults internet users, have paid to watch or download a video online. In 2007, 4% of internet users had paid to access or download video online.