YouTube / Rich Media Market Research

The PEW Internet & American Life Project has released some interesting market research lately surrounding the use of video sharing sites such as YouTube and the rising tide of rich media. I’ve provided links back to the full dataset, but wanted to highlight a few items that stood out for me with some gut reactions.

Home broadband penetration among adults in the US continues to grow.

broadband penetration in the US Dec. 08

If anyone has it, I’d love to know what relationship there is between this number and the overall yearly sales of web services and products–specifically software sales.

Half of all internet users have been to video sharing sites–this totally blows me away.

video sharing site visitor Dec. 07

It will be very interesting to see where this number levels out at and how it will be impacted by the arrival of IPTV as the physical infrastructure of the network is upgraded. If you take a look a look at the wording of this question its safe to assume YouTube has been visited by 50% of all adults.

youtube question

Damn – YouTube is an 800 lbs gorilla. The level of mindshare here gets me thinking monetization; especially ad-based models. So far YouTube’s monetization efforts seem to have focused purely on advertising revenue and Brightcove just recently announced incorporation of Google AdSense sense for video. I wonder how effective video advertising is, especially in the context of user generated content on social sites, and whether the same concerns that surround social network advertising are relevant?

social network advertising in decline

It’s also interesting to note that teens are actively producing as opposed to just consuming rich media.

teens involved in rich media content creation

I’ve always believed the conversations that are spawned and surround rich media are often more interesting / important than is the actual media and this belief seems to have been affirmed, for teens at least, by PEW.

rich media not just about sharing

There are a number reasons why:

  • Comments reflect an emotional investment in a topic and give important psychological weight to future potential readers / viewers.
  • Effective video search and deep tagging is still a long ways off, but comments are easily accessible to the search bots.
  • In many aspects of life, it’s the journey that reveals the most useful information and from which we take the most pleasure. Comments reflect ‘the journey’ – the rich media is just the starting point.

In sum, if one can sum up a rambling stream of consciousness, 2007 was a monster year for video and rich media on the web and it looks to be just the tip of the iceberg. If you’re one of the three readers that actually stops by feel free to add your two cents. :)

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