The results of a national online Magid Media Futures survey conducted the last week in March of 2007 have just been released, documenting the huge growth in popularity for Americans to view video online over the Internet. Daily usage of online video rose by 56 percent over the last year. In 2006, 9 percent of 12- to 64-year-old Americans who used the Internet reported using online video daily — every day. Today, in 2007, this number has risen to 14 percent of Americans 12 to 64 years old.

Weekly usage of online video has also risen over the last year. Now, a majority of online Americans 12 to 64 are using online video once a week or more. In 2006 this number was 44 percent, and now it is 52 percent — for a growth rate of 18 percent.

Even more remarkable is the amount of online video use among young Americans. Among young adult males 18 to 24, 35 percent report using online video at least once a day, and 80 percent report watching online video at least once a week. In all age-groups, males are more regular viewers of online video. Among females 18 to 24, weekly use of online video is 53 percent (versus the 80% for males). The population that has the lowest rate of weekly online video usage is older women. Among the group of females 55 to 64 years old, 39 percent report using online video weekly.

“Clearly the use of online video demonstrates that the Internet has become a mass platform for distributing video content to a wide cross section of Americans,” said Mike Vorhaus, senior vice president and managing director for Frank N. Magid Associates, Inc., the media-oriented consulting and research firm that conducted this research.

The types of video being consumed by Americans include a wide variety of content. News stories are reported by consumers as the most frequently viewed video they watch regularly on the Internet. Over a third of online Americans 12 to 64 watch online video news stories regularly. Video content described as jokes/bloopers, weather, and movie previews are tied for second most regularly viewed video content. Closely following these are music videos and “videos shot by consumers and uploaded to Web sites like YouTube” — a more consumer- friendly way of saying “user-generated content.”

Of course, some demographic groups are very different from other age and gender groups. For instance, news stories are more appealing to older age- groups (those 45 to 64), while jokes/bloopers are strongest among teens.

“The breadth of content viewed by consumers regularly online is amazing. This is not just short clips on YouTube. Consumers are watching news stories, movie previews, clips from TV shows, and, in some cases, even full-length TV shows and movies,” Vorhaus said. “The breadth of content online today is growing and consumers are using it,” Vorhaus concluded.

The Magid research also indicates that Internet homes in the U.S. are moving forward technologically as the expansion of wireless networks into the home increases dramatically. Two years ago, in 2005, only 16 percent of Internet homes had wireless networks. In 2007, over 41 percent of Internet homes have wireless networks, which is a growth of 156 percent in two years. “Right now it may mostly be computers and printers on home networks. We imagine TV sets will readily be part of home networks in the years ahead,” Vorhaus commented.