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Growing Demand for Digital Video Downloads

Amid growing interest in user-generated video clips and increased experimentation with online movie distribution by the motion picture industry, a new market study by Ipsos indicates that an estimated 10 million Americans aged 12 and over have downloaded television shows from the Internet; seven million in the past 30 days.

New findings for the company’s biannual study of digital video behaviors reveal that younger Americans are driving growth in many digital video activities, including TV show downloading. Ten percent of young adults aged 18 to 34 (14 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds and 7 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds) have downloaded television programs from the Internet and seven percent have done so in the past month—nearly double the rate of television downloading overall.

This marks a significant increase in video downloads over the summer of 2005, when only two percent of Americans overall and five percent of 18- to 34-year-olds had ever downloaded video. Despite these gains, however, downloading larger video files such as full-length TV shows and movies remain firmly entrenched as an early adopter behavior online; it is less commonplace among the mainstream consumer traditional video channels currently serve.

Key trands identified in the study include:

- Eighteen percent of Americans aged 12 and older have watched music videos streamed online (~41 million) and as many as 32 million have downloaded video games to their PCs (14 percent).

- Despite growing experimentation on behalf of the motion picture industry in distributing movies online, downloading full-length motion pictures is still a niche activity (just 3 percent of Americans have ever done this).

- Males continue to lead females in most digital video technology ownership and related behaviors, including downloading television.

- Overall, 27 percent of portable MP3 players have the ability to play video, a number that has been steadily increasing over the past year; 5 percent of MP3 player owners have paid to download television programs from the Internet versus only 1 percent of those who do not own MP3 players.

- Other activities are becoming more popular as well: one in ten Americans aged 12 and older has downloaded music videos (10 percent) and a similar proportion has downloaded movie trailers (9 percent).

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