Consumers Prefer Movie Rentals to Downloads

YouTube and other sites may be establishing the popularity of short Internet video clips, but when it comes to full-length movies, even video-savvy Internet users till prefer traditional TV and video rental offerings, according to ABI Research.

The new survey, “Broadband Video and Web Television End User Perceptions,” polled 1,725 online consumers age 18 and over via the Web during October 2006. The survey found that while as many as 7 in 10 online video users watch short clips such as excerpts from sporting events or news shows, movie downloads remain the least watched genre of online video, with just one in twenty online video users having rented or purchased a movie for download. More users indicated they’d downloaded a movie fro a peer-to-peer file sharing service, but even with those additions, movies remain the least watched form of online video on the Internet.

“The vast majority of those watching content online are watching short-form content such as news and sports clips,” said research director Michael Wolf in a release. “Older users in particular watch primarily news and sports, while younger users are watching more entertainment content, including viral media provided by sites such as YouTube.”

Nearly half of online users surveyed—48 percent—said they would never purchase a movie for download because they were happy with current media providers and the rental market. “Despite the growing interest in the pay market for Internet-delivered video, perhaps the biggest remaining hurdle to widespread adoption is that the status quo usually gives consumers a vastly superior, and often less expensive experience than Internet-delivered content,” said Wolf.

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