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Movies Are Least Watched of Online Video

A new ABI Research survey of Internet users in North America found that only 5 percent of those who watch video on the Internet have 'rented or purchased' a digital movie download, a lower overall number than indicate they have downloaded a movie free from a peer to peer sharing site.

Movie downloads, both legal and illegal, remain the least watched genre of online video on the Internet, where short-form content such as sports and news clips is watched by nearly 7 in 10 of those that watch Internet video.

"The vast majority of those watching content online are watching short-form content such as news and sports clips," said research director Michael Wolf. "Older users in particular watch primarily news and sports, while younger users are watching more entertainment content, including viral media provided by sites such as YouTube."

When ABI Research asked consumers why they chose not to watch movies downloaded or streamed from the Internet, the biggest reason was satisfaction with existing cable and satellite services as well as DVDs. Nearly half -- 48 percent -- indicated they would never purchase a movie online for download because they were satisfied with their current providers and the rental market.

"Despite the growing interest in the pay market for Internet-delivered video, perhaps the biggest remaining hurdle to widespread adoption is that the status quo usually gives consumers a vastly superior, and often less expensive experience than Internet-delivered content," said Wolf.

"The industry needs to develop reasons and business models that increase overall consumer interest in Internet delivered video, including allowing for easy transfer and better viewing on the large screen."

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