Is it any wonder entertainment executives are worried?
In a new survey, the Pew Internet and American Life Project has found a meteoric rise in Americans’ interest in web video, with the number of adult Americans who’ve watched a video on sites like YouTube nearly doubling since December 2006, when it conducted a similar survey.
Pew found that 62 percent of its survey respondents said they’d watched a video online, up from 33 percent in the previous survey.
That figure outranks by a large margin the portion of adult Americans who spend time social networking sites like Facebook (46 percent) or on status-updating sites like Twitter (11 percent).
Unsurprisingly, the younger demographic led the way, with 89 percent of users between the ages of 18 and 29 saying they had viewed content on a video-sharing site, while a smaller but growing portion of the 50-and-older segment said they went online for video content.
Nineteen percent of respondents said web video-sharing sites figured into their routine on a typical day, up from 8 percent in 2006.
Online video sharing sites like YouTube, which are dominated by amateur, user-generated content, continue to dominate Internet video by volume, but Pew also identified the rising tide of premium content coming online.
These trends are not lost on entertainment companies, which have been tinkering with models to bring their content to the Web to meet consumer demand without cannibalizing their offline revenue.
There is little in Pew’s study to contradict that, but Bewkes and others seem to realize that they have a gradual, irreversible shift on their hands.