College Students’ Online Video Use Dramatically Surpasses General Population’s

September 12, 2007

This article is included in these additional categories:

Media & Entertainment | Youth & Gen X

Whereas only 13% of adults have ever watched commercials via online video, some 60% of college students have done so – and, in general, students similarly differ from the general population in online-video consumption and usage patterns, according to (pdf) stats compiled by SurveyU.

The study compared SurveyU college-student survey data with those of the Pew Internet/American Life Project’s online video study.

Whereas only 57% of adult internet users have ever watched online video, according to Pew, some 93% of college students have watched online video, according to SurveyU.

Moreover, on a typical day, 19% of internet-connected adults download video, whereas more than three times as many (62%) college students do so.

College students indicate significantly higher rates of various usage-related actions (see chart, below); the only case where the general population’s usage is higher is in watching online video with others.


“The line between creator and consumer is blurring for the Millennial generation,” said Dan Coates, cofounder of SurveyU. “When it comes to online video, college students have advanced beyond the rest of the internet population and are fully engaged in the complete online video lifecycle: downloading videos, rating content, posting comments, publishing video links and uploading their own videos.”

In the types of content watched via on-demand online video, college students’ usage surpasses the overall populations’:

  • College students have viewed comedy, music and movies/television at levels – up to five times more – that far exceed the general internet population.
  • News, animation and commercials represent the next most-viewed types of content.
  • Political, educational and sports content, while still viewed by half the college population, are the least-viewed content.
  • Nevertheless, even the least-watched form of online video content among students exceeds the most-watched form of content among the general internet population.


Unlike the general population, college students tend not to care so much whether the online video they watch has been produced by a professional or amateur:


Among the sources of online video, YouTube dominates – cited by nine in ten students (90%). Among the distant followers:

  • Google Video (38%)
  • iTunes (34%)
  • MySpace (32%)
  • CollegeHumor (31%)
  • (31%)
  • Ebamsworld (28%)
  • CNN (25%)
  • Yahoo (20%)
  • (18%)
  • AOL Video (13%)
  • (12%)
  • MSN Video (12%)
  • DailyMotion (10%)
  • (10%)
  • (9%)
  • Veoh (9%)

About the study: Some 1,000 online interviews were conducted between Tuesday, August 28 and Friday, August 31, 2007. Respondents participate in the SurveyU panel of US college students. Results were weighted to reflect the demographic composition of college students nationwide according to statistics published by the NCES (National Center for Educational Statistics).

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