Some 10 million Americans age 12 and over have downloaded television shows from the internet - seven million in the past 30 days alone, according to the MOTION biannual study of digital video behaviors by global market research firm Ipsos.
Younger Americans are driving growth in many digital video activities, including TV show downloading: 10 percent of young adults age 18-34 (14 percent of 18-24-year-olds and 7 percent of 25-34-year-olds) have downloaded television programs (seven percent have done so in the past month) - nearly double the overall rate of TV show downloading.
In the summer of 2005, only two percent of Americans overall and five percent of 18-34-year-olds had ever downloaded video. Despite the gains, however, downloading larger video files remains early-adopter behavior. Downloading full-length motion pictures is still a niche activity (just 3 percent of Americans have ever done this).
Males continue to lead females in most digital video technology ownership and related behaviors, including downloading television.
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Some 18 percent of Americans age 12 and older have watched music videos streamed online (about 41 million), and as many as 32 million have downloaded video games to their PCs (14 percent). One in ten Americans age 12 and older has downloaded music videos (10 percent) and a similar proportion has downloaded movie trailers (9 percent).
Overall, 27 percent of portable MP3 players have the ability to play video, a number that has been steadily increasing over the past year; 5 percent of MP3 player owners have paid to download television programs from the internet versus only 1 percent of those who do not own MP3 players.
"The distribution of digital entertainment content - not just digital music - is a growing channel of entertainment consumption with exciting possibilities," said Todd Board, SVP of the Ipsos Insight Technology & Communications practice and author of the study. "As we have witnessed with music, no single consumption method will necessarily dominate, while traditional media will continue to prosper for the foreseeable future."
"Savvy product developers and marketers will need to cultivate a forward-looking view of the segments likely to emerge around unmet and under-met needs for video consumption…. For digital video, there are…potential catalysts, including music videos, movie trailers, and increasingly, TV shows with intense audience involvement," Board said.