About one in five people are watching television on line and the rate has doubled in the last two years, according to two independent sources of data. Two thirds of these viewers connect with television programs through the official web sites of the various broadcast and cable channels and another two in five use YouTube. Only a third download videos; two thirds use streaming video, in other words they watch on their computer screen.
Who are these online television consumers? Women, people age 13 to 24 and those from homes where the annual household income is over $80,000 are more likely to be in this group, although it includes some from all demographic segments.
What does this mean?
Are you posting sermons and informal "home movies" from your church activities, etc., on your web site or with YouTube. Pastor Andrew Clark in Pittsburgh has had three videos put together by a local documentary producer put on YouTube with large numbers of viewers. These all featured specific community projects, including a presentation to the local city council when 200 supporters showed up, a large group of student volunteers from Blue Mountain Academy on an inner-city mission trip, and the creation of a pocket park for local children. Pastor Mike Fortune at Toledo First Adventist Church recently put together a short video shot by members of the Cars4Kids car show and fund-raiser for the cancer unit at the local Children's Hospital that his congregation did on Labor Day Weekend. You can access it from his blog. This kind of technology is well within the reach of even small churches these days and one-fifth of the population in your community prefers this kind of message. In two years it is likely to be 40% and in five years it almost certainly will be the majority.