Comedy Surpasses News as Most Popular Online Videos

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WASHINGTON: More than half of U.S. adults have watched video online, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center, with comedy clips having replaced news as the most popular Internet videos.

Pew’s Internet & American Life Project found that 69 percent of adult Internet users—52 percent of all U.S. adults—have gone online to watch or download video. And more adults are putting their own content online; 14 percent said they’ve uploaded a video to the web, 52 percent say they’ve shared their video on MySpace or Facebook and 49 percent on YouTube.

Fifty percent of all adult Internet users say they have viewed comedy videos online, up from 31 percent in 2007. Forty-three percent say they’ve watched news video, up from 37 percent. Thirty-two percent say they’ve watched movies or TV shows, twice as many as three years ago.

However, the number of web-users ready to pay for video online remains small. Only 1 in 10, or 7 percent of all Internet users, say they have paid to watch or download a video.

Leading the pack in online viewing are the 18-to-29 set, according to the poll.

“We are seeing a surge in online video watching,” said Kristen Purcell, a Pew associate director for research.

She said the increase was being “driven by a combination of broadband access, the increasing use of social networking sites and the popularity of video-sharing sites.”

“Untold numbers of websites now showcase online video as part of their content,” she added.


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