The Web: Fun if not Profit

Here’s where my age betrays me because I find it tough to believe a recent report that says 30 percent of Internet users log on every day just for fun. My behavior is more in line with the 52 percent who use the ‘Net mostly for email, or the 38 percent who search or the 31 percent who log on for online news. These breakdowns can be found in a Pew Internet & American Life report titled, “Growing Numbers Surf the Web for Fun.”

But once I think like a dad the Web’s entertainment drift becomes clear. My wife is constantly trying to pry our teenaged sons away from online shooter games. The Web is their diversion. It’s where they watch movie trailers and instant message their friends. It’s the TV they can talk back to. Considering what we get on TV that’s a fairly low bar. But there’s my age showing again.

For News & Humor: MediaPost reports that “One in four web users watch online video at least weekly, while almost half of all Web users view online video at least once a month, according to a new study by the Online Publishers Association.” OPA reports that :

“News leads the way in frequency of viewing, with 27 percent of online video viewers watching at least once a week, followed closely by funny videos (26 percent watch at least once a week).”

The report suggests that online video vewers visit a relatively select array of sites and don’t mind seeing advertising. Are Web networks forming already?

Eyeballs & Bucks: Another MediaPost article says Web sites that host home-made videos are developing ways to take the best of these amateur productions and support them with money-making schemes. A colleague recently did this roundup article on the Web video scene.

Time’s Up: Paid Content reports that the video upload site YouTube recently put a 10-minute time limit on submissions to cut down on copyright infractions. The report was sourced to a YouTube staff blog that said: “We know that over 99% of videos uploaded are already under 10 mins, and we also know that most of our users only watch videos that are under about 3 minutes in length.”

Tom Abate
‘Cause if you ain’t Mass Media, you’re Mini Media