About 58% of adults who use the Internet watch comedy videos, up from 50% in 2009, the Pew Research Center found in a July survey of 1,003 adults. But I was surprised to see how popular serious fare has become on the Web. Some 56% said that they watch How-to videos followed by Educational (50%, up from 38% in 2009), Music (50% vs. 32%) and News (45% vs. 43%). Genres with smaller audiences include Animation (28% vs. 22%), Political (27% vs. 30%), Sports (27% vs. 21%), and Ads (15%, no change). What about porn? About 12% of respondents admitted that they watch, up from 7% four years ago, although Pew acknowledges that the figure may be skewed by “a reluctance to report the behavior among some adults.” The survey also found that 31% of adults upload their own videos, a big increase from 14% in 2009. About a third of them — 11% of adults — do so in the hope that their clips will go viral. The most popular subjects among those who post: friends and family doing everyday things (58%), themselves or others doing funny things (56%), events including concerts and sports (54%), and pets or animals (45%). Just 23% offer “intentionally staged, scripted, or choreographed videos.” Pew says that social network sites including Facebook have made it relatively easy to post. But what it calls the “growing online video culture” took off as smartphones became popular. About 20% of adults use their phones to post videos.

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