Looking at Online Video Trends

    December 15, 2008
    Chris Crum

As you are no doubt aware, online video has experienced a tremendous year in 2008 in terms of growth and usage. I have personally documented a fair amount of the happenings in the industry over the year myself.

Nielsen is now sharing some data looking at trends after analyzing VideoCensus data over the past year. They say that 60% of online video viewers are over the age of 35, and that people have a hard time believing that. I’ll certainly admit it is a bit surprising.

"Initially, it is a bit shocking: we expect that new media like online video would be more heavily composed of younger people," says a post on the Nielsen Analyst Blog. "But the truth of the matter is that video has already reached popularity to the point that the video universe, in broad terms, looks much like the overall Internet audience."

Still, it is the younger crowd that is growing most rapidly. "A quick look at volume of consumption tells us the young ones aren’t done yet.  Overall video consumption is growing, but the majority of the growth is driven by these younger consumers, with over 40% growth in both the number of streams and time spent by 2-34 year olds," says Nielsen.

The growth in younger use is not so surprising, and I would expect that this will continue long into the future as kids are basically born into a world where online video is heavily viewed. For instance, I have a five-month-old little girl, and she is already watching videos on YouTube and Hulu. Sesame Street on demand, wild animal videos, etc. If online video viewers continue to have kids, the trend in young viewers is likely to grow that much more.