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December 21, 2010

Canadians outpace Americans, Brits in online viewing

16 percent visit video sharing sites daily

The vast majority of people in Canada, the United States and Britain are enjoying user-generated content on video-sharing websites, but many are also turning their computers and laptops into virtual jukeboxes, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

The online survey of representative national samples also shows that Canadians are more likely to be heavy users of video-sharing websites, and also more eager to share links with co-workers, friends and relatives that Britons or Americans.

Visits to video-sharing websites

Two-in-five Britons (40%), one third of Americans (35%) and three-in-ten Canadians (30%) say they never visit video-sharing websites (such as YouTube, Dailymotion, Truveo, etc.) over the course of an average week. Canadians are more likely to visit these video-sharing websites on a daily basis (16%) than Americans (12%) and Britons (9%).

User-generated content and music

Respondents who have visited video-sharing websites were asked to describe the videos they normally watch. Three-in-five Canadians (64%) and Americans (62%) who have visited video-sharing websites say they see original videos posted by users, along with 56 per cent of Britons. A large proportion of respondents (62% of Britons, 57% of Americans and 54% of Canadians) say they watch music videos from pop/rock groups online (both old and recent).

Television shows, sports and ads

Britons (48%) are clearly more likely than Canadians (38%) or Americans (37%) to rely on video-sharing websites to watch scenes from television shows (both old and recent). Britons are also slightly more likely to use video-sharing websites to look at highlights from professional sporting events (26%, compared to 22% for the U.S. and 21% for Canada). TV ads are seen by about one-in-five respondents in the three countries.


Half of Britons (51%) and about three-in-five Americans (57%) who visit video-sharing websites say they have forwarded a video link to a co-worker, friend and relative, and more than two thirds (USA 71%, BRI 70%) have received a link from somebody they know.

Canadians are evidently keener on playing an active role in the dissemination of video links, with 70 per cent saying they have forwarded a link to a co-worker, friend or relative, and 85 per cent stating that they have received a link.


As the anonymous contributor of user-generated content celebrates the fourth anniversary of its naming as Time Magazine’s Person of the Year, people in Canada, the United States and Britain are all enjoying the original videos posted by other users on video-sharing websites.

However, the recent changes in programming from the traditional sources of music videos appear to have pushed music fans to the web. Sizeable majorities of respondents who are using video-sharing websites are watching music videos. For Britons, this category is actually more sought after than user-generated content.

Canadians are definitely more hooked on video content than their American and British counterparts, and a large component of the population is not only ready to receive a video link from a co-worker, relative or friend, but also eager to forward it to a new list of contacts.

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