Top 8% Of Users Watch Twice As Much Online Video

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The top 8% of broadband-video consumers — a cohort dubbed the “Extreme Techies” — watch up to twice as much Internet video each week as average users, according to research conducted by Nielsen and commissioned by the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing.

Extreme Techies watch up to 91 minutes, or 1.5 hours, per week compared with the mean of 44 minutes for all broadband viewers. The group, which represents 4.6 million users, are considered the vanguard in terms of adoption of Internet video services.

The last time I took a close look at the heaviest-consuming Web video users (based on research from October 2007), the gap between the top 20% and the rest was much larger. According to comScore, the top one-fifth of users watched an average of 841 minutes per month (around 14 hours) in October 2007 while the 30% of moderate viewers watched 77 minutes. (See I Want My Web TV.)

According to the recent CTAM-Nielsen survey, Extreme Techies see themselves as “ambitious, adventurous, tech-savvy and spontaneous.” The highest-consuming Internet video users are 63% are male, with a mean age of 31 and an average annual income of $67,000. About 38% have connected their computers to their TVs to view TV and movie content.

About 64% of Extreme Techies (vs. 30% for the total sample) said watching TV shows online adds to their regular TV viewing, and 60% (vs. 33% total sample) reported they typically know what they want to watch online before they sit down at their computer.

The CTAM-Nielsen study, “Crossing Over: Understanding Viewer Multi-Screen Migration,” identified eight distinct broadband user segments, determined by their levels of engagement with video content across TV, online and mobile platforms; the devices they used to consume content; and their motivations for and attitudes toward using multiple platforms.

The survey was fielded from Jan. 23 to Feb. 9. The total sample consisted of 750 adults, 18 years or older, who subscribe to cable, satellite or telco TV television service and watch at least five hours of television per week. Respondents owned and used a computer with a high-speed connection and said they watched at least 30 seconds of video content online in the last 30 days.

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