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June 20, 2007

Where's The Porn?

Huge Growth Occurs in Online Video Use” is the headline of a press release from Magid Media Futures which is getting some play on Techmeme today. “And It's Not All User-Generated Videos” intones the second line of the head.  According to the survey: “News stories are reported by consumers as the most frequently viewed video they watch regularly on the Internet”; “jokes/bloopers, weather, and movie previews” come next followed by music videos and user generated content.

Bullshit! I don’t believe a word of it beyond the fact that video “usage” goes up with available bandwidth.

Porn is never mentioned in the survey.  Give me a break.  “Adult sites” were first to make wide use of video. Pornography always drives technology.  There’s something badly wrong with the methodology of a survey which misses the elephant at the table. Since the actual survey is not linked to from the press release, it’s impossible to know for sure what’s wrong; but the key may be in the phrase “are reported by consumers”; people likely aren’t reporting themselves as watching porn.

“Among young adult males 18 to 24, 35 percent report using online video at least once a day, and 80 percent report watching online video at least once a week” the release says. “Using” is a funny word but we’ll ignore it.  I don’t think all these young guys are watching the news. Interestingly, the survey confirms this saying it’s us older guys who “report” watching the news.

Point is you can’t believe a survey whose questions you don’t see, whose methodology you don’t know, and whose respondents are obviously lying or restricted in their choices in at least one respect. Why should you believe anything else it says?  You certainly shouldn’t make a business plan or design a network based on data like this.

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