Internet Video Traffic is Souring


As the Internet continues to expand, video is taking hold and is responsible for the newest explosion in online traffic. Whether it’s an online news website like MSN, a sports website like ESPN or simply an email from your friends, video is a likely candidate for viewing content online. It’s almost not considered fun anymore unless there is some type of video involved in your online experience.

Many of you have probably heard of the website, it is a place for people to engage in new ways with video by sharing, commenting on, and viewing videos. YouTube originally started as a personal video sharing service back in February 2005, and has grown into an entertainment destination with people watching more than 70 million videos on the site daily. Everyone can watch videos on YouTube –both on and across the Internet. People can see first-hand accounts of current events, find videos about their hobbies and interests, and discover the quirky and unusual. As more people capture special moments on video, YouTube is empowering them to become the broadcasters of tomorrow.

This new revolution in the way people can interact online is vastly expanding the ways in which we communicate and share information with others online. Video is exploding on the Internet everywhere we turn. Even emails from our friends and family include videos that someone has posted somewhere on the Internet. The newest controversial Internet topic is the so-called video of President Bush to suffer a digitally manipulated assassination entitled “Death of a President”. The UK’s Channel 4 has produced a movie that opens with the assassination of President Bush by an anti-war sniper in front of a Chicago hotel. They have used special effects to use Bush’s actual face. It seems to be a shockingly real film, and it is understandable causing outrage among many Americans.

Death of a President uses digital trickery, archive footage and actors. This drama, which recreates the national paranoia following the murder, will be screened this month at the Toronto Film Festival. Channel 4 hopes to sell the film to US broadcasters but same say that is impossible. So wait until it hits YouTube. For the moment, all we have is the picture of the scene and the initial news cast by NBC.

The number of Internet users watching video online grew an impressive 18 percent between October 2005 and March 2006. That’s according to comScore’s first ever analysis of U.S. Web users’ online video viewing habits, drawn from its new Video Metrix service.

In March, U.S. Internet users initiated a total of 3.7 billion video content streams; and they watched an average 100 minutes of video content each during the month, compared with 85 minutes back in October.

Men initiated 52 percent of those streams, women 48 percent; splitting genders along roughly equal lines. But men spent far more time with the content, averaging two hours of viewing time during the month, compared with women’s hour-and-twenty. Not surprisingly, males 18 to 34 were most engrossed with online video, averaging 140 minutes of video consumption.

But while certain demographic sets consume more video than others, the report’s biggest surprise is that people from all ages and walks of life are eating it up, according to Erin Hunter, comsCore’s EVP of media and entertainment.

“There are skews by age, but there isn’t any group that’s not doing it,” she said. “It’s not just college kids. It’s also the older demographic, and clearly both males and females alike. In terms of content, we see entertainment and sports and news all with pretty strong rates of viewership.”

So as we can see, the Internet is taking shape in a whole new light. Video is becoming a reality and has allowed millions of people to post video content online. So what’s next? Are we going to be able to form our own online TV stations with streaming media? Instead of writing a blog, can you watch me in the comfort of my own home talk about the latest and greatest topics regarding e-Business? I sure hope so and it seems that the Internet is definitely heading this way. With the birth of TV reality shows a few years ago and the recent outpouring of bloggers everywhere, it seems like that would be the perfect combination — Internet reality TV stations, made by people like you and me.






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