Earlier this week, eMarketer released a new report on online video usage .  The report details findings related to audience and TV content viewing online. As new reports come along, we will continue to share them here.

Key Findings:

  • In 2010, two-thirds of US internet users are watching some form of online video content at least once per month. Continued growth will be driven by an expansion in content availability, technology advances and an increasing comfort level with the activity.
  • The bulk of the video-viewing audience is in the 18-to-44-year-old range, with the younger viewers in this group spending the most time watching online clips. Younger viewers are also most likely to watch full-length TV programs online. Over the next several years, however, the online video audience will gradually homogenize, with viewers outside this core age group carving out larger shares of the total audience.
  • The audience for online TV viewing will rise sharply in the coming years. Most people who watch full-length TV on the internet say their top motivator is catching up with missed shows, according to both Nielsen and comScore. This suggests that online video is more likely to affect timeshifting technologies such as TiVo than it is broadcast or cable TV.
  • Hulu has become the go-to site for TV online, while Facebook has emerged as a video powerhouse by virtue of its 500 million worldwide users and the ease with which the social network allows the embedding of video content, including short clips of select TV programs. And this is a two-way street, with news, media and entertainment sites that carry video often integrating Facebook and Twitter feeds alongside the video player.
  • Over the next year at least, the debate over how to monetize online video will be back in the foreground. This is partly because advertising support, which was assumed to be the silver bullet for the online video economy, has proved weaker than expected in a soft economy. Also, the cost of streaming video content is high and the medium does not scale. Unlike broadcast or cable, each stream has to be delivered individually from the source to the destination. Advertising alone has not been able to support these costs.