Poll Finds More People Download Short Videos Than Long Ones

Sep 6th, 2006 | By | Category: General

According to a new AP-AOL Video poll, more than half of Internet users have watched or downloaded video, but only one in five has watched or downloaded a full-length movie or television show.

“Rome wasn’t built in a day,” said Benjamin Feingold, president of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, which is selling programs and giving away ad-supported shows through AOL. “A lot of progress has been made in terms of the quality of video and audio on the Web. It’s not the same as broadcast or DVD, but it’s improving.”

Kevin Conroy, executive vice president for AOL, said its users have been watching longer and longer clips as more programs become available — starting with music videos, moving to television and now adding movies. Viewership should improve, he said, as more portable gadgets and other devices support Internet video.

For now, full-length programs are good for frequent travelers who like to watch movies on laptops and for television fans who might have missed an episode of a serial drama like “Lost,” said Rob Enderle, an industry analyst with the Enderle Group. Few PCs these days are hooked up to television sets, he said, making longer programs less of a draw.

The new survey found that relatively few — 7 percent of video users — have paid to watch any video online. Nearly three-quarters of online video users prefer free videos with ads.

Another issue is that Internet users prefer to watch video on their televisions.

Vanita Butler, a 43-year-old saleswoman from Newark, Ohio, said she sees the Internet as more of a tool — for catching a news story or highlights from a NASCAR race. When she has time for entertainment, she and her husband prefer the television set.

“It’s a little bit more of an intimate environment,” Butler said of watching television. “We can sit and do it together.”

Other report highlights:

  • Users of online video are drawn to its convenience and accessibility, but the bulk of them say their television viewing habits remain unchanged.
  • One-third of video viewers ‚Äî higher among high-speed Internet users ‚Äî say they watch more video on the Internet now than a year ago.
  • Urbanites and suburbanites ‚Äî who have high-speed connections at home in greater numbers than rural residents ‚Äî are more likely to have watched video online.
  • Forty-six percent of video watchers with high-speed service view video at least once a week, compared with 22 percent of dial-up users. Dial-up users also were more likely to complain about download times.

The AP-AOL Video poll of 3,003 adults, including 1,347 online video watchers, was taken by telephone July 27-Aug. 9. It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2 percentage points for all adults and of 3 percentage points for online video watchers.

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