Comedy becomes most popular online video content

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Comedy has overtaken news as the most popular video category on the internet, acccording to the latest report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Half of adult internet users interviewed last summer had watched or downloaded comedy, compared to just 31 percent in 2007.

Other types of subject matter include movie or TV show videos and political videos, both of which have doubled to 32 percent and 30 percent respectively.

News viewing has risen only slightly, from 37 to 43 percent.

"We are seeing a surge in online video watching that is driven by a combination of broadband access, the increasing use of social networking sites, and the popularity of video-sharing sites," says Kristen Purcell, associate director for research and author of the report

"To tap into these trends, untold numbers of websites now showcase online video as part of their content."  

Americans are also increasingly posting their own content, with one in seven internet users now saying they've uploaded video. They're a bit careless about it, it seems, with half saying they never restrict access, and a third feeling they should be more careful about what they post.

"People are increasingly enthusiastic about the opportunity to share their own video content online, but there’s a lot of variation in terms of how people control access to the videos they post, who they think is watching, and concern about how their video might be used," says Purcell.