Many reports indicate that online video viewing is increasing greatly. But one report, at least, claims online video buying is still relatively limited.
According to the "Broadband Video and Web Television End-User Perceptions" report from ABI Research, only 5% of North American online video viewers have either rented or purchased a digital movie download — a much lower number than those who say they have downloaded movies for free from peer-to-peer sharing sites.
Moreover, movie downloads, both legal and illegal, remain the least-watched genre of online video on the Internet, where short-form content such as sports and news clips is watched by nearly 70% of those that watch Internet video.
"The vast majority of those watching content online are watching short-form content," said Michael Wolf of ABI. "Older users in particular watch primarily news and sports, while younger users are watching more entertainment content, including viral media provided by sites such as YouTube."
When ABI asked consumers why they chose not to watch movies downloaded or streamed from the Internet, the biggest reason was that they were satisfied with existing cable and satellite services, as well as DVDs.
In fact, nearly half, 48%, indicated they would never purchase a downloaded movie online. Why? Because they are satisfied with current channels, including the rental market.
As Internet video viewing technologies evolve, however, that may change.