Which ethnic group do you think watches the most online video?  A new study from Nielsen explores this question and the results may surprise you.  The research, conducted as part of Nielsen’s New Digital American Family report, took a look at the media habits of the four largest races/ethnic groups in the United States—White, Hispanic, African-American and Asian/Pacific Islander.  Read on to find out the results.

According to the research, White non-Hispanic viewers accounted for the largest percentage of the online video audience, at 108.6 million, while Hispanic viewers followed at 16.6 million, African-American at 14.9 million and Asian/Pacific Islander at 4.5 million.  However, when it came to the number of hours and minutes watched per person, Asian/Pacific Islanders took the lead with 10 hours and 39 minutes per month, followed by Hispanic viewers at 6 hours and 22 minutes, African-Americans at 5 hours and 48 minutes, and White viewers were in last place with 3 hours and 44 minutes.  Asian/Pacific Islanders were also in the lead for number of streams per person, at an average of 283.

According to the Nielsen research, as outlined in a post called Dissecting Diversity: Understanding the Ethnic Consumer, “Asian/Pacific Islanders are the most active PC and Internet users, spending nearly 80 hours on PCs in February 2011 versus the national average of about 55 hours.  They also consume more Internet content than any other group, visiting 3,600 web pages in February—about 1,000 more than their counterparts.”  The findings also pointed out that although they watch the least amount of TV at 3 hours and 14 minutes per day, Asian/Pacific Islanders lead the pack for online video viewing with more than double the overall mean.  Could online video be a replacement for their television sets?

GigaOM’s Janko Roettgers brings up one interesting caveat—”Nielsen’s numbers tend to only address PC-based video viewing, so any consumption through connected devices isn’t covered by these numbers.  However, it’s unclear if including mobile devices or game consoles would have made any difference.”

Roettgers also points out that segmenting consumers according to race and ethnicity, as this study does, is a touchy subject.  “However,” he says, “the data itself is pretty interesting, and it mirrors earlier findings about minorities as early adopters of cell phones and other types of technology.”

What do you think about the Nielsen statistics?  Were you surprised by the findings?

Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast here at Social Times.  Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.