It's easy to forget how recently that video became the ubiquitous media of choice on the Web. Just in the span of 2005 through 2006 came the popular proliferation of YouTube in the US, DailyMotion in Europe, and Tudou in China. These sites set the direction of online video with Flash Player technology for streaming instead of downloading, with a simple interface where anyone can upload content, as well as convenient code for sharing and reposting on Web pages and blogs. According to Lightspeed's research released yesterday through eMarketer, video is bigger than blogging or social networking - 72 percent of US Internet users watch video clips at least once a month. 62 percent view at least one video per week, which Lightspeed translates to 97 million weekly viewers.
Nielsen Online claimed an even higher amount in April, that US online video viewers reached nearly 117 million - as big as network television. The participation is skewed towards younger Internet users, with watching, sharing and uploading all highest for sixteen and seventeen year olds, almost uniformly decreasing for each older subset with two exceptions: 82 percent of users from sixteen all the way up to 24 watching video clips, and 47 percent of 18-24 year olds sharing video clips compared with 48 percent of 25-34 year olds.
In Nielsen's VideoCensus from this month, the numbers show the fastest growing category of viewers are older than 35, and they are watching long-format video. Breaking the mold from shorter YouTube videos, long-format typically includes full television episodes on network sites such as Hulu, ABC.com and NBC.com
Six months ago, viewers from 25 to 34 years old were the video site visitors that spent the most time on Hulu. But now the most time spent on a site is by those who are 35 to 49 - a 134 percent increase in time spent per user.