Study on Who's Using Video-Sharing Sites Shows Usage Outside Cities Catching Up

By July 27, 2011
Enjoying using a video sharing site

Along with familiar trends in Internet usage, such as higher adoption by younger people, minorities and those with more money and education, video-sharing sites are also being visited by people living outside of big cities, almost as much as by urbanites.

Most Internet users are on video-sharing sites such as YouTube or Vimeo, and many are visiting them regularly. But despite the image of a typical YouTuber being a pubescent boy, Americans over the age of eighteen have a rigorous online video life. As of May of this year, a Pew Internet survey found that 71 percent of all adult online Americans have ever used this type of site. This study shows an increase from 66 percent of video-site users last year, and a 38 point increase from Pew's first study of these usage levels in 2006.

In addition to breaking down the demographics of Internet users, the results from the 2011 Spring Tracking survey employed a frequent-use question, specifically whether respondents had used such a service "yesterday." Among the entire surveyed group of over two thousand, 28 percent confirmed that they had visited a video site yesterday, giving a good idea of how much of the online population uses these sites regularly or daily.

Online video attracts younger crowds, more minorities (especially Hispanic), and those with higher income and education. The group is split quite evenly between men and women, with men rating slightly higher in the "yesterday" group at 32 percent over women at 25 percent. The 18 through 29 year-old population came up highest at 92 percent and 47 percent in "ever" and "yesterday," respectively, with groups showing less visits at each higher age category.

While urbanites have previously held a higher percentage of users than those in the suburbs or rural areas, these numbers have become more similar this year. In December of 2006, Rural areas were up to 21 percent, suburban areas were 23 percent, and urban areas were all the way up to 38 percent. As of April 2011, rural levels have reached 68 percent, suburbs have 71 percent, and urban areas have 72 percent. While a few more percentage points of difference remain, Pew analysis considers these "statistically insignificant differences." 

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