Pew: Video Watching Now More Popular Than Social Networks


With 62 percent of adult American Internet users surveyed by Pew in April reporting they watch online video on sites like YouTube (s GOOG), web video is now more prevalent than social networking. Some 46 percent of those surveyed said they were active on social networking sites. That’s not to say people don’t spend the bulk of their time poking each other on Facebook, but as a whole, more people say they’ve watched an online video.

Sixty-two percent is the result of massive growth over the last few years, according to the Pew survey, which was conducted by phone of 2,253 respondents by Princeton Survey Research International and first written up by MediaPost. A similar survey in December 2006 found only 33 percent of adult Internet users watched online video.


Young adults are the most avid online video watchers, with 89 percent of Internet users between 18 and 29 watching content on video-sharing sites, and 36 percent doing so on a daily basis.

Pew found that more than 35 percent of U.S Internet users have watched a television show or movie online, up from 16 percent in 2007. A broader survey released by Forrester yesterday said the current number was a bit lower: 25 percent.

Of Pew’s group, 23 percent of those who watch TV and movies online have connected their computers to their TVs. This is particularly prevalent among men, with 29 percent of males in the category bringing web video into their living room vs. 16 percent of women.

And on the cord-cutting myth front, Pew says that of the 22 percent of American adults who have cut back on their television subscriptions in the last year, 32 percent say they’ve connected their computers to their TVs to watch web video.

Meanwhile, a separate study from Frank N. Magid Associates prepared for Metacafe (which we found on Nalts’ blog) said that more than half of TV viewers say they go online using their computer while they watch TV and 20 percent of online video viewers say they watch less TV on a TV set due to their time spent watching online videos.



Thanks for the link, Liz. I found this interesting because I was struggling whether to hang my “Nalts Consulting” hat on video marketing or social media (which seems hot lately). Truth is, they overlap heavily. But video is easier to access, versus social media which requires registration. Also- video is the most visceral form of social media. It was only when I realized that YouTube popularity is based on social interactions that I gained views and subscribers. It’s like highschool that way. :)


Non news, isn’t it?

Many social networks have a video hosting/watching component.

Few video sites have a social networking component.

Liz Gannes

@Gargamel – and there are also social networking tools on video sites, true enough. But I think the split is still interesting.

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