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Who's Watching User-Generated Video?

Hint: It's not silver surfers.

User-generated videos (UGVs) tallied 22 billion views in 2007, up 70% over 2006, according to Accustream iMedia Research's "UGV 2005 - 2008: Mania Meets Mainstream" report.

Paul A. Palumbo, research director at Accustream, told eMarketer that the 22 billion views was a worldwide figure. In other words, user-generated videos on US-based Websites drew 22 billion views from users worldwide.

Accustream said that user-generated videos had an average of 10,695 views in 2007. Crackle.com, which emphasized category expansion and more professional content, had the highest average number of views among the sites measured, with 216,596 per video.

Who is watching all this homegrown video?

Harris Interactive asked US adult Internet users about the types of online video they would like to see more. The supply of UGV was apparently sufficient for most of those surveyed, since it drew the lowest response rates. However, young adults were most likely to want more user-generated video.

An even more detailed picture of UGV viewer demographics came from the "Annual Gadgets Survey 2007" by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, which profiled active adult users of video-sharing sites where many UGVs are hosted. Pew found that more than half of these site visitors were 18 to 29 years old.

That is a far more lopsided age distribution than is found among online video viewers overall.

A separate Pew study found that while more than three-quarters of 18-to-29-year-old Internet users had watched some type of online video in February or March 2007, more than half of 30-to-49-year-old Internet users had viewed online video as well.

Nearly four out of 10 Internet users 65 and older had also tuned in, proving that the general online video audience is not exclusively young.

Online videos viewing in general is no longer a niche activity and is widespread among Internet users of all ages. Marketing that incorporates user-generated video, however, should probably still target young adults in particular.

The eMarketer Online Video Content report will be published in February 2008. Click here to be notified when it is released.

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