Sports highlights rank high on list of most watched online video

A new poll from the Associated Press and AOL provides fresh evidence that sports networks, broadcasters, professional and collegiate leagues and other content owners are headed in the right direction as they execute plans to make coverage available on the Web.

A new AP-AOL Video survey revealed 54 percent of all U.S. Internet users have watched or downloaded a video clip or full-length program from the Web. The survey, which examined online video trends and usage habits among 1347 online video users, found that 32 percent of online video users said they watched more online video today than they did one year ago.

Seventy-one percent of online video users would prefer to watch an ad before a video to watch the video for free, while 23 percent said they'd rather pay for ad-free videos.

At 44 percent, sports highlights ranked fourth on the list of most frequently viewed videos behind news at 72 percent, TV or movie clips at 50 percent and music videos at 48 percent.

The survey also showed:

  • Sixty-nine percent of online video viewers say they find videos they want to watch by browsing the Web. Sixty-one percent hear about videos from friends and 58 percent regularly visit a roster of favorite video sites. Thirty-seven percent use search engines to find videos and 36 percent learn about videos from magazines or TV.
  • Those with a high-speed Internet connection are more likely than dial-up access users to watch video online (46 percent versus 22 percent). Men (48 percent versus 32 percent of women), adults ages 18 to 34 (48 percent) and urbanites (46 percent) are most likely to watch video online at least once a week.
  • One in 10 online video users say that now that they can watch video online, they watch less TV. Eighty-seven percent of online video viewers say their TV viewing habits remain unchanged by the proliferation of online video.

Ipsos Public Affairs conducted interviews for the survey via telephone July 27 to 30, Aug. 1 to 3 and Aug. 7 to 9 among a sample of 3003 adults age 18 and older, including 1347 online video users. The margin of error is +/- 2 percentage points for all adults. For online video users, the margin of error is +/- 2.5 percentage points.