Are you watching more online video during writer's strike? Or not?

strike graphicSo what are you doing during the Hollywood writer’s strike?

Are you watching more online video? Are you spending more time at video-sharing sites such as YouTube or Veoh?

Are you watching past seasons of TV shows on DVD, shows you’ve seen before like “House” or “Lost” or are you watching something new like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” or “The Wire?”

Have you given up on TV for now and are watching movies on DVD? Maybe you’re going to the movies again?

Are you reading more books?

Recent reports suggest that, yes, you are watching more online video because of the writer’s strike (a claim disputed by some) and that you are watching more online video in general (no one doubts this).

strikeNielsen Online released figures this week that said some online video sites have doubled their audience since the writer’s strike began in November. Nielsen says YouTube’s audience is up 18 percent in the two months since the strike started. A newer site, Crackle, has seen its audience rise from 1.2 million to 2.4 million in November and December.

“That is greater growth than you would normally see in such a short period and the strike could be a possible factor,” the BBC quoted Nielsen analyst Alex Burmaster.

Pew Internet & American Life Project doesn’t necessarily say more people are watching online video because of the writer’s strike, but PEW does highlight the larger trend: 48 percent of Internet users said they had visited video-sharing sites such as YouTube in 2007 — up from 33 percent a year ago, or a 45 percent growth year-to-year.

Fifteen percent of the PEW respondents said they used a video-sharing site “yesterday”, or the day before they were contacted for the survey A year ago, that number was 8 percent.

PEW’s conclusion: On an average day, people using video sites nearly doubled from the end of 2006 to the end of 2007.

No one really doubts that people continue to visit video-sharing sites, but Gawker disagrees that the recent uptick is due to the writer’s strike. It’s worth reading Gawker’s logic — whether you buy it or not — that leads to such conclusion as:

“Wrong: YouTube’s growth isn’t much faster than usual” and “The growth of YouTube has nothing to do with the aborted TV season.”

So what are you watching?

Photo credit: Associated Press

last100 is edited by Steve O'Hear. Aside from founding last100, Steve is co-founder and CEO of Beepl and a freelance journalist who has written for numerous publications, including TechCrunch, The Guardian, ZDNet, ReadWriteWeb and Macworld, and also wrote and directed the Silicon Valley documentary, In Search of the Valley. See his full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

3 Responses to “Are you watching more online video during writer's strike? Or not?”

  1. Mack D. Male says:

    I’m really glad Leno and Conan are back, because that’s pretty much the only TV I watch! Well, that and hockey.

    I would say getting an iPod touch has caused me to watch more online video than the writer’s strike has. Podcasts and integrated YouTube make it so easy.

  2. Glenn Abel says:

    With so many people checking out some many new online video services (Hulu, etc.), it’s hard to imagine Nielsen successfully making the case that the strike caused a spike. More old-media thinking from an old-media lapdog.

  3. JP says:

    My typical watch week includes: old episodes of Psych on USA (new ones just started); HD podcasts; G4 podcasts; live sports in HD.

    The time I would have spent watching new seasons of Heroes and 24 is now spent playing Rock Band, Assassin’s Creed and Oblivion.

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