Report: American Video Habits by Age, Gender and Ethnicity

image from According to the latest Nielsen Cross-Platform Report, when it comes to TV viewing, women of all ages spend more time than their male counterparts.

Women ages 2+ watch nearly 16 hours of traditional TV more per month than men. On the flipside, men consistently spend more time streaming video online.

Older Americans (65+) watch more than twice as much traditional TV as teens, and roughly 37 percent more TV than those ages 35-49. In terms of the size of the audience, Americans 50-64 make up the largest segment of the traditional TV audience (25%).

Interestingly, adults 35-49 represent the largest segment of the Internet video audience (27%) and Americans 25-34 dominate the mobile video audience (30%).

There are also distinct viewing trends by ethnicity, with African-Americans watching the most video content.

  • When it comes to traditional TV, African-Americans tune in nearly 213 hours per month, more than twice as much as Asians and roughly 57 hours more than Whites. African-Americans also watch the most mobile video, though less time-shifted TV than the general population.
  • Asians have emerged as the hands-down leader in time spent watching video on the Internet, averaging six-plus hours more per month than Whites and nearly four hours more per month than the next closest ethnic group, Hispanics. Asians also watch far less traditional TV than the general population.
  • Hispanics watch less traditional TV but more Internet video than the general population, but not at the level of the Asian population.
  • Whites watch by far the most time-shifted TV—nearly 50 percent more than Asians, the next closest ethnic group—when looking at all TV homes. They continue to watch the most when the field narrows to only homes with DVRs. Whites also watch less video on the Internet or mobile phones than other ethnic groups.



"It Gets Better Project" Delivers Digital Hope and Shows the Power of Social Media

It-Gets-Better-Logo“It gets better… It gets so much better… I promise, it gets so much better.”

These are the promises of participants in the It Gets Better Project, founded by advice columnist Dan Savage. In September 2010, following a rash of suicides by gay teens bullied by their peers, Savage created a YouTube channel to offer hope to those in similar situations.

The goal was to showcase the positive and fulfilling lives led by Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender/Queer adults, and to give LGBTQ young people something to hold on to when they saw only misery in their futures. Savage encouraged adult members of the queer community to upload their own videos describing how life “got better” for them after high school.

The response was enormous. Savage received 3,000 emails about the project in its first 24 hours. Over 200 videos were uploaded in the first week, and the limit of 650 videos for a single YouTube channel was reached a week after that. Savage set up a website to help direct users to the many new videos being uploaded every day to other channels.

Hollywood stepped in as well, with videos uploaded by celebrities such as Tim Gunn (Project Runway), Zachary Quinto (Star Trek) and President Barack Obama

Though the star power helped bring visibility to the campaign, Savage emphasized a focus on average, everyday LGBTQ adults. He wanted to show kids that you don’t have to be rich and famous to be happy and find love, whatever form of love that may be.

"It Gets Better" is a good message for all bullied teenagers, no matter the reason for being bullied.

Online buzz spiked when news of American Idol contestant Adam Lambert’s contribution to the project hit Twitter. A GLAAD campaign to “wear purple”on October 20 to raise awareness of anti-gay bullying gained traction on Facebook and Twitter.  

Some participants even reported wearing purple despite not knowing the reason why – they simply saw it in their feeds and wanted to fit in with their friends (who quickly told them about the campaign).  

The power of social media over behavior can be staggering.


YouTube & Sundance: 'Life in a Day' User Generated Film Experiment

Youtube.lifeinadayWhat does your Life in a Day look like? Everyone has a story. Every day has a story. Sundance and YouTube want you to share your story with the world.

Sundance Institute are joining forces with YouTube and filmmakers Kevin Macdonald and Ridley Scott to create the first-ever user-generated film shot in a single day. The film will document one day on earth (July 24, 2010), as seen through the eyes of people around the world.

Want to take part? Here’s what to do:

1. Visit the “Life in a Day” channel on YouTube and learn more about the project. Be sure to read through the steps you need to take to participate and the guidelines for creating your video(s). Also check out some of the sample videos for inspirational ideas.

2. On July 24, capture your day on camera.

3. Upload your footage to the “Life in a Day” channel any time before July 31.

Regardless of whether your footage makes it into the final film, your video(s) will live on on the “Life in a Day” channel as a time capsule that will tell future generations what it was like to be alive on July 24, 2010.

If your footage is selected for the completed film, you’ll get the chance to attend the premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. This is your chance to be part of cinematic history!

Trend Watch: Google, Sony & Intel to Launch 'Google TV'

Facebook and BBC iPlayer Lead U.K. Online Video Growth

Image Credit: MediaPost

While monthly video viewing in the U.S. may be showing signs of leveling off, the British market is in serious growth mode. As in the U.S. Google's YouTube has the lion's share of that market, with slightly less than half of all videos served. While the market fragments quickly from there, the TV networks are growing rapidly.

The BBC more than doubled its videos viewed last year to come in second place. Each visitor to the broadcaster's site consumes 15.7 videos a month. Before many U.S. networks and Hulu started pouring prime time onto the Web, the BBC was developing its robust iPlayer portal and player.

While the BBC’s video viewing audience tends to be male and spread between the ages of 25 and 54, Channel 4 skews heavily toward the 15-24 year old age group. The site was visited evenly by males and females but women watched five more videos then male viewers on the site during the month.

Facebook is the big up-and-comer in U.K. video, however and clearly the one to watch. The social network saw the number of videos viewed rise 205%, to 42.6 million in February.  

The importance of Facebook to all online businesses, including video, was underscored last week by no less a video maven than Mark Cuban, co-founder of HDNet.

In a post at his blog, Cuban mused that Facebook has become the new Internet, the place we now go to fill time in much the same way we channel surf TV. With its increasing knowledge of users and alternative means of discovering content via social sharing, he sees the network as a challenge to two of the biggest stakeholders in the digital universe.


Report: Millennials, Men Watch Most Online TV

The advantages of watching television shows online are straightforward. When comScore asked cross-platform TV viewers in December 2009 which factors would make them choose to watch online, being able to watch wherever and whenever they wanted, as well as to pause and play shows at will, were the top reasons.

But the “overall viewing experience” still tilted in television’s favor, and younger adults remain the most likely group to watch TV shows on the Web.

According to consumer electronics site Retrevo’s “Gadgetology Report,” 23% of Internet users under 25 watched “most” of their TV on the Internet, compared with 8% of all online adults. Under-25s were also less than one-half as likely to say they watched no TV on the Web.

comScore reported that 54% of cross-platform viewers overall were under 35, compared with just 30% of those who only watched traditional television.

Retrevo found that like young adults, men came in ahead in terms of watching most or all of their TV online. They were nearly twice as likely as women to say they did so.


Digital Convergence: Emerging Trends in TV/PC Viewership

"Television is the clear winner for watching video in US households, and no research survey suggests Americans will abandon their “boob tube” for YouTube.

Total time spent watching online videos ranges between 1% and 2% of Internet users’ overall monthly video consumption, according to various estimates, while TV gets 98.5% of all video viewers’ time, according to Nielsen. But online and mobile viewership, along with time spent on the Internet in general, are growing quickly."

via eMarketer > Digital Convergence for US Households

Nielsen: Viewing Video on Facebook Increased 1,840%


According to Nielsen's VideoCensus, Facebook generated more than 217 million streams in October to more than 31.5 million unique viewers, up from 110 million streams to 23 million viewers in September. This phenomenal growth makes Facebook the number #3 video site behind YouTube (#1) and Hulu (#2).

Chris Albrecht over at NewTeeVee has put together an excellent analysis of the VideoCensus report along with some keen insight on how this may effect the race to win the social video war.

Is Michael Buckley the Future of TV?

As online video continues to grow by leaps and bounds, the networks continue to navel gaze looking for  ways to hold on to their dying business model, the TV 2.0 revolution is being led by niche content producers like Michael "Buck Hollywood" Buckley

The monopoly once held by broadcast media is over and now, in addition to cable outlets, they must compete with causal gaming, online video and social networking for viewers eyeballs.

Michael Buckley is the star of "What the Buck Show" a show that he writes, produces and distributes on YouTube. Before you dismiss Michael's show as mere UGC YouTube drivel, consider this: What the Buck Show has over 600,930 subscribers (one of the most subscribed channels of ALL TIME), 180 million views and is the top rated entertainment show on all of YouTube.

In December of 2008, he was featured on the front page of the New York Times and he has appeared on CNN, CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, FoxNews, the CW, BloombergTV, and E! Each episode of “What the Buck?” is viewed an average of 200,000 times and the more popular ones have reached up to three million views. Not to mention the 250,000+ Twitter followers!

What's the secret of his success? Hard work, a loyal fan base, deep engagement with his viewer community, willingness to give back to the YouTube community, and a deep understanding of how viewers consume media.

  • Community: Odds are that, unless I'm part of a studio audience, I won't have an opportunity to interact with Jay Leno, David Letterman or Conan O'Brien. However, a fan of What The Buck can interact with Michael via Twitter, YouTube, his live show on BlogTV or even email. Not only does he banter with his audience across all US time zones, he also interacts with his fans in the UK as well. When does this guy sleep?
  • Snack Size Snippets: Michael produces content that is quick and easy to view. Unlike broadcast and cable TV, viewers don't have to dedicate a hour to watch an entire show. They can watch an entire episode in 4 or 5 minutes. And since Michael is able to produce new episodes at a moments notice, his content is current, fresh and relevant to viewers.
  • Call to Action: There is nothing passive about an episode of What the Buck. Whether it's subscribing to his show, asking for their video responses to his show, or asking what they think--Michael is constantly asking for his audience to be involved in the creation of the show. This provides both user retention and engagement, but also makes viewers feel like they have a stake in the success of the show.
  • Get Real: One of the things that makes Michael so popular is that, unlike network shows or 'traditional media' outlets, Michael will call it as he sees it. Miley on a pole at the Nickelodeon Teen Choice Awards? Michael is the first one to go all What the Buck! and call her out on her inappropriate behavior. Michael says what most people are thinking, and his authenticity is a great hook to keeping the audience engaged and coming back for more.

The future of TV might not be online video or UGC, but indie digital content producers like Michael Buckley have used free tools like YouTube, hard work and raw talent to create both buzz and an audience hungry for his content, leaving fans shouting "I had to have it!"

Game on TV. Game on.

Facebook, YouTube & the Race to Win the Social Video War

"Today, Facebook is presenting a larger distribution opportunity than anything we saw on MySpace. Every month, 8 million videos are uploaded to Facebook which is on scale with YouTube.

And every single time one of these videos is uploaded, liked, shared, or commented on, it becomes a candidate for being distributed to, on average, 120 individual news feeds.

Clearly, the opportunity here is massive."

  — Designs For Social Video| MediaPost

Gen Y, Social TV & Multiplatform Media Consumption

image from

It's no secret that younger viewers are more inclined to watch their favorite television shows online or time shifted via the Internet or DVR rather than sit in front of the television.

Remember, this is a hyper-connected generation and to them sitting in front of the TV is a really passive, boring and disconnected media experience.

For younger viewers, television is a much more interesting and socially interactive experience when they can watch a show and discuss it in real time online with their friends.

In addition to being able to choose when (synchronizing viewing with friends across disparate time zones) and where online (Hulu, YouTube,, FFWD) they view television content, younger viewers value the web because it allows them to simultaneously watch and exchange IM's with friends, participate in multiplayer online games related to their program, do homework, download music they hear on a show, check text messages, Tweet and/or update their Facebook status.

New research published this week by Integrated Media Management (IMM), points to the increasingly blurred lines between TV and the web. In their survey, IMM found that "viewers were online during roughly 9.3 percent of their prime-time viewing."

Other key findings from IMM on TV and the web:

  • Simultaneous consumption of both television and web viewing doubles as the week progresses (5.8% on Monday to a high of 15.9% on Thursday);
  • Women spend more time surfing the web while watching television (13% of women vs. 9% men);
  • Twenty-somethings were more likely (20%) to watch tv and surf than thirty-somethings (6%);

As I blogged a few weeks ago, research from Park Associates found that over one-fourth of broadband users ages 18-24 are interested in having social media features integrated on their TV. The report, Social Media & User-Generated Content, found that  multiplayer gaming, in-program chat, and “most watched” lists were among the most desired social extensions sought out by Gen Y respondents.

Networks like MTV and CNN are keenly aware of these trends and have responded by creating interactive  multiplatform opportunities for viewers to connect and snark together. For example, every Monday, 10,000 superfans play MTV's Backchannel, a multiplayer online game based on the popular reality show The Hills

Want a glimpse of this hybrid social networking-TV model of media consumption? Check out how Rick Sanchez over at CNN has created a real time, interactive mash-up between social networking sites, Twitter and television. And oh yeah, his show is drawing a younger demographic and blowing the ratings through the roof.

CBS has created Social Rooms a virtual environment where viewers can "join family, friends and fellow fans and watch your favorite episodes of your favorite shows together." The hit CBS comedy, How I Met Your Mother weaves real blogs into their storyline, further blurring the lines between TV and the web.

Yahoo! Connected TV is working on lots of TV widgets, including Twitter, that allows you to literally bring the web to your TV. And one need only look at Twitter to see perhaps the most basic and immediate social TV viewing experience.

On any given night, the "Trending Topics" on Twitter provide ample opportunities for viewers to actively participate in a shared social experience revolving around a television program or news event.

Twitter also moves multiplatform media consumption and social TV to a whole other level--mobile. In addition to SMS, there are dozens of mobile clients for Twitter that allow you to send Tweets from your smart phone via the mobile web.

Since people have their mobile phones with them at all times, this allows consumers to watch a mobile TV or news program to create a spontaneous, real time and instant mobile social networking experience via Twitter.

Jan 2010 Update: Samsung to Launch App Store for HDTVs

Related Links

comScore Reports a Rise in U.S. Online Video Consumption

New data released today by comScore shows a 34% increase of online video consumption by U.S. Internet users versus year ago. A total of 12.7 billion online videos were viewed during November 2008.

Not surprisingly, Google/YouTube held the top spot with a 40% share of videos viewed online. Also in the top five most visited video sites were Fox Interactive (3.5%), Viacom (2.6%), Yahoo! (2.4%) and Microsoft (2.3%).

Other tidbits from the comScore report:

  • 77 percent of the total U.S. Internet audience viewed online video.
  • The average online video viewer watched 273 minutes of video.
  • 97 million viewers watched 5.1 billion videos on (52.3 videos per viewer).
  • 52.5 million viewers watched 371 million videos on (7.1 videos per viewer).
  • The duration of the average online video was 3.1 minutes.
  • The duration of the average online video viewed at Hulu was 11.9 minutes, higher than any other video property in the top ten.

Online video is growing by leaps and bound across all categories. If you look beyond the comScore report, you see huge numbers of people watching streaming video on the web and, increasingly, mobile devices like the iPhone or iPod.

And it's not just teens. Adults are also voracious consumers of online video.

A recent article, Younger Viewers New Media, provides an additional snapshot of the growth of online video content consumption (Thanks Anastasia!). Among the findings:

  • In October 2008, Cartoon Network reported over 6 million users visited, spending an average of 34 minutes.
  •, users spent over 24.4 million minutes — about 25 minutes per person — watching videos and playing games.
  • MTV Reports shows are being streamed tens of millions of times each month.

As the web increasingly moves to the mobile space, it will be interesting to see if mobile video follows a similar growth trajectory to video streamed via the web. MTV reports that it's "on track to deliver about 100 million videos to mobile phones."

So are kids only watching online video? Or are they still watching "traditional" television. Pick a study, any study. It's easy to find research to back up just about any corporate, academic or political agenda.

If I had to guess, I'd say that kids consume video content both online and off. They will use whatever device--tv, iPod, computer, Hulu, network tv--is readily available to them. Remember, this is the "always-on" generation. When it comes to content, the "how" isn't nearly as important as the "when."

Related Resources

Global Youth: Teens, Digital Music & Tube Converting

Interesting tidbit over on today's Ypulse Youth Advisory Board from Caroline Marques, a high school student in Geneva, Switzerland, about how many teens are finding a new way to download free music.

"Teens downloading music online is still alive and well thanks to this technique: tube converting. This time it’s not through Limewire, but through something closer to home: YouTube or any online video site.

Since YouTube is where most teens watch music videos, it makes sense. Sites like, and are programs where you just type a URL and save the song. With a small chance of getting viruses, and the enormous choice of songs, many teens feel this method is easier and safer."

I wonder how Google/YouTube, the RIAA and the music industry will respond to this new trend? Lawsuits? Scare tactics? Some new fangled blocking software?

Related Resources

User Generated Fame: Gen Y & Hollywood

After shaking up old media with their podcasts, YouTube videos and blogs, Gen Y is out to shake up one of the most entrenched industries around---Hollywood.

In his report,Talent Agents for the YouTube Generation, Marketplace reporter Kai Rysdall visits United Talent Agency's online division in Hollywood to learn about digital representation. Here's one of my favorite quotes from the interview:

"The guys at United Talent Agency think it's because they are so young that they've been able to pick as many winners as they have, never mind what the old guys think.

Nadler: If all of those 54-year-olds sat down with their 17-year-old kids for a week and said "Show me what you do."

Ryssdal: Is part of your job getting them to do that? To sit down and say, "I need to understand this?"

Nadler: Either way, they're going to have to learn if they want to keep their jobs."

Not only is this a great interview (high five Kai), but it's a great barometer on how rapidly social media, user generated content and Gen Y are changing both the way media is digested and what it means to be famous in the digital age.

Related Resources

  • Marketplace
  • UTA Online
  • Prom Queen