The evolution of Internet users’ digital media and online habits appears to be transitioning to the digital video age, according to the most recent findings from The Face of the Web, Ipsos Insight’s annual study of Internet and Technology trends. Over the past few years, the growth of digital music behaviors – particularly downloading music files online and burning CD-Rs – introduced millions of Internet users globally to the virtues of the digital medium, blazing a path for other entertainment media to follow. At the end of 2006, it appears that online video activities seemingly have taken over the torch as the driving force in the next stage of digital media’s growth, having a profound impact on the way consumers access and view video content around the world.
Indeed, participation in online video activities is climbing quickly in many developed markets of the world. Growth in these behaviors was most prevalent within the U.S., where today well over one-third of recent Internet users (36%) have watched a TV show or other video stream online, compared to 28% at the end of 2005, while three-quarters of these adults have done so in the past 30 days. Brian Cruikshank, Executive Vice President & Managing Director of Ipsos Insight’s Technology & Communications practice, explains how consumer appetite for video content has accelerated the adoption of online video behaviors, “In markets such as the U.S., where homes are saturated with televisions and DVD players, video content is a predominant part of consumers’ daily lives. Increasing penetration of broadband access and PC ownership globally signals that the PC will begin to really assert itself as a ‘second screen’ within the household.”