Nielsen Probes Demographics of Web Video Fans

15 February 2008

NEW YORK: The Nielsen Company – eager to retain its dominance of the US media metrics market – has published the first major study into how people use online video. Men, it seems, are drawn mainly to user-created material á la YouTube, while women opt for web-accessed network TV

On YouTube, males aged 18-34 are more than twice as likely as women in the same age category to watch videos.

The report's publisher, Nielsen Online, opines that the gender bias is likely due to the availability and nature of content on such sites, in the main short, humor-driven clips that appeal more to young, male audiences.

Online-video viewing is now a standard web activity, with 73% of active web users claiming to have watched online video in December.

That's a numeric that has marketers' agog for more data, says Nielsen – especially about viewing schematics – to guide them as to how, where and and when to advertise within such content.

The report's other findings include …

  • Online-TV viewers are fairly loyal to a particular network's website, whereas people are more likely to watch videos on a wide variety of user-generated-content sites. 
  • Fans usually connect to a network TV site to watch a particular show, find background information or interact with the show in other ways. For example, just 16% of the viewers who watched video content on also watched shows on
  • Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff