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Poll: No Momentum Yet for Big Online Video

A new poll from the Associated Press and AOL Video finds that while more than half of all Internet users surveyed have watched or downloaded online video, short videos and clips seem to be preferred over long-form offerings: only about one in five respondents have downloaded a full-length movie or TV episode.

The most popular category of online video was news clips, with some 72 percent of online video viewers saying they had watched or downloaded them. Next up: short movie and television clips, followed by music videos, sports highlights, and user-generated amateur video. Not surprisingly, the poll also found online video is used by more people in areas where broadband Internet access is more common: urban and suburban Internet users are more likely to have viewed online video than those in rural areas.

Despite the poll’s current findings, online video use seems to be growing and major studios—and, indeed, poll partner AOL—are betting heavily on digital distribution systems for television and movie content. The AP/AOL Video poll did find that viewers valued the convenience and accessibility of online video, and fully one third of online video viewers say they watch more video online now than they did one year ago. Some 46 percent of online video watchers with high-speed Internet access say they watch some form of online video at least once a week; for dial-up users, that number is just 22 percent.

However, the studios clearly still have some work to do: the majority off respondents say the availability of online video has not changed their television viewing habits, and only seven percent of online video users have paid to watch any form of online video.

The survey polled 3,003 adults by telephone between July 27 and August 5, 2006, of which 1,347 were online video watchers.