50 Million Americans Are Online Content Creators

Posted on May 30, 2006

ClickZ reports on a Pew study that says 50 million Americans are creating online content.

At home broadband users are more likely to create and post user-generated content on the Web, according to the "Home Broadband Adoption 2006," a report published by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Forty-eight million American adults have contributed some form of user-generated content on the Internet, it found. That's 35 percent of Internet users. Of those adults who have posted content on the Web, 73 percent, or 31 million, have a broadband connection at home.

"[The Web is] shifting now to user-generated content; it shows people engaging with the Internet in a number of different ways in their lives," said John Horrigan, associate director of research at Pew Internet & American Life Project. "It shows that people are pretty interested in using the technology to put something of themselves on the Internet, not just pull down information from the Internet."

The findings were part of a Pew study (PDF) that looked at the growing number of Americans using broadband at home. Here some more facts from the study about people creating content on the Internet.
  • Overall, 35% of all internet users have posted content to the internet.1 Specifically, we asked about four types of online content: having one's own blog; having one's own webpage; working on a blog or webpage for work or a group; or sharing selfcreated content such as a story, artwork, or video.
  • An even higher percentage of home broadband users - 42% or about 31 million people - have posted content to the internet. They account for 73% of home internet users who were the source of online content.
  • Having a fast, always-on internet connection at home is associated with users' posting content to the internet and thereby shaping the environment of cyberspace.
  • Although home dial-up internet users get involved in putting content online, they do not do so at the same rate as broadband users. Just 27% of dial-up users, or about 13 million adults, have placed some sort content online.
  • Sharing a variety of creations online is among the most popular kinds of usergenerated content. Overall, 36 million internet users have shared their own artwork, photos, stories, or videos on the internet. That comes to 26% of internet users. Home broadband users account for about two-thirds of this number.
  • Home is not the only place from which people upload content. Among the 11% of online Americans with access only at work or some place other than work or home (such as a library), 21% have posted some content to the internet. That comes to 5 million people.
  • People are eagerly uploading and posting content -- especially the younger demographic. All that remains is to settle the debate about what to call this content. Is it user generated content (UGC), citizen journalism, consumer generated content or something else? As we said before UGC is in the lead and we learned from Tron that Users are good. UGC may be in the lead but the debate won't end anytime soon. There will also continue to be new names for this content created by everyday web users.

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