There is a wealth of new information today on important aspects of social media. I will be writing more on the trials of social media adoption in Public Radio on Fast Forward. Here we will look at the latest report by Pew on the use of online video.
All of us involved in public television need to think about what this report tells us - that Tipping Point has occurred and we are behind. But then so is everyone else and we have a great chance to get ahead.
Here is the executive summary:
Online video now reaches a mainstream audience; 57% of online adults
have used the internet to watch or download video, and 19% do so on a
The growing adoption of broadband combined with a dramatic push by content providers
to promote online video has helped to pave the way for mainstream audiences to embrace
online video viewing. The majority of adult internet users in the U.S. (57%) report
watching or downloading some type of online video content and 19% do so on a typical
Three-quarters of broadband users (74%) who enjoy high-speed connections at both
home and work watch or download video online.
Looking separately at those who have access to a high-speed connection at home,
66% report online video consumption, compared with 39% of home dial-up users.
Yet, some online video viewers who have dial-up at home are able to supplement
their access with broadband connections at work. Among those who are truly
relegated to slow connections at home and work, just 31% say they have watched or
downloaded video online.
Young adults (those ages 18-29) are among the most voracious video viewers. Three in
four young adult internet users (76%) report online consumption of video, compared with
57% of online adults ages 30-49. Less than half (46%) of internet users ages 50-64 watch
or download video and just 39% of those age 65 and older do so. On a typical day, young
adults’ video consumption also outpaces that of older users:
Roughly one in three (31%) internet users ages 18-29 said they watched or
downloaded some type of video on a typical day during the period of this survey.
By comparison, 18% of internet users ages 30-49, 12% of those 50-64 and 10% of
those 65 and older watch or download any type of video on the average day.
Three in four young adult internet users watch or download video online.
So what to do?
Learning how to get your material online is surely the first step and that is itself hard when all this is new.
But surely the value is once you know how to do this - Making sense of it all. Here is Seth Godin's warning:
The longest tail
I stopped by a garage sale today. The guy had thousands of CDs, most of them in their wrappers. $3 each. I was excited.
Two boxes in, I felt like I was in a different universe. Every single artist was someone I had never heard of. After 25 years of buying CDs (a lot of CDs) I had come face to face with a huge Dip. It's almost impossible to buy music with no frame of reference. There were no hits, no recommendations, no "if you like x, you'll like y". I realized that the time it would take to decide if I liked an album was probably worth more than the $3 it would cost to buy one--in other words, not even worth it for 'free.'
Musicians, bloggers, writers--if you're toiling in the long tail, getting stuck at zero is now a real possibility. Being just like the other guys but trying harder is less of an effective strategy than ever before.
So the lessons are even harder than we thought - the easy one is the technical challenge. The hard one is to learn how to be a taste maker. Even harder is after perhaps being the taste maker yourself as a station - how do we give the job like Digg or Slashdot to the audience?