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New Study of Consumer Video Consumption


The Center for the Digital Future announced results from the latest Visual Networking Index (VNI) Pulse Survey, designed to assess worldwide consumer video behaviors and attitudes.

The study highlights consumer video "consumption" and attitudes about video in the United States, urban China, Germany, and Sweden.

Survey respondents answered questions about their level of access to media technology, the devices they used for "viewing" video, the amount of time they spent watching video on different devices, and the reasons they watch video content.

"Our research identifies the innovative ways people are choosing to communicate, discover entertainment content, and access video information in different locations on multiple devices," said Jeffrey Cole, director of the Center for the Digital Future.

"Video is being added to more and more applications and showing up in more and more locations. We see a common thread that people are using video to remove global boundaries, build intimate relationships faster, and have collaborative interactions across distances."

More than 1,000 consumers from each of the four target countries completed online or telephone questionnaires about their "video usage" during the month of November 2008.

Key findings of this market study include:

- U.S. consumers watch the most TV: an average of 3.8 hours per day. Germans watched 2.9 hours on average; Swedes, 2.1 hours; and urban Chinese, 1.8 hours.

- Urban China has the largest percent of users who watch online video via their PCs, at 97 percent, with the U.S. following at 81 percent.

- The U.S. has the largest percentage of users watching video on a mobile phone, at 23 percent. U.S. respondents who watch video on their mobile phone spend an average of 36 minutes per day doing so.

- Eighty-five percent of the German respondents are interested in viewing Internet video on their TV sets, compared with 55 percent of Swedes, 54 percent of Americans, and 35 percent of urban Chinese.

- U.S. respondents watch 2.5 times as much professional video content (TV programs and movies) as they do user-generated video content on their PC or laptop. German respondents watch twice as much user-generated video on their PC or laptop as they do professional video content.

- On average, American respondents who use a PC or laptop to view video spend 1.5 hours per day doing so. They are well ahead of the Swedes (who spend 0.7 hours per day), equal to the Germans (1.5 hours per day) and slightly below the Chinese (1.9 hours per day).

In my opinion, this insight really must be balanced with a study of consumer and prosumer video production and distribution data -- because that's the untold story that is more indicative of the changes that are fragmenting the visual news and entertainment landscape.

In the bygone era of highly concentrated Big Media, that's based upon closed monopolization, all the emphasis was on the consumption of content from a finite list of content producers. In the Web 2.0 era of increasingly fragmented Micro Media, that's based upon open participation, the emphasis now shifts to the rapidly growing list of diverse content producers.

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