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Cisco Visual Networking Index Pulse Survey Finds Use of Online Video Quintupled Over Previous Election Period


Internet Ranks Second Only to TV as Most-Used Medium for Political Information

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Cisco today announced the results of a Visual Networking Index study assessing the influence of online video and other social media applications on Americans’ political engagement. The study, conducted by Compete and sponsored by Cisco, highlights the increasingly significant role that visual networking is playing as a source of U.S. presidential campaign news and information. This research represents the first installment of Cisco® Visual Networking Index (VNI) Pulse activities, which will provide quantitative views of network-based consumer behavior through direct data collection. Earlier this year, the Cisco VNI Forecast was introduced to provide projections for global Internet Protocol (IP) networking growth and usage based on Cisco’s analysis of independent analysts’ forecasts.

More than 1,800 registered U.S. voters were surveyed last month (participants identified themselves as Democrat, Republican, independent or undecided). Some of the key findings from the Cisco VNI Pulse survey were:

* Traffic to popular online video Web sites increased fivefold in 2008 from 2004. 1

* The Internet (via computer) was identified by 62 percent of respondents as a regularly used source for 2008 presidential election information and coverage, which was surpassed only by television (82 percent).

* About 30 percent of registered voters reported using online video to follow 2008 presidential election coverage; 75 percent of these online video users felt watching video online enabled them to follow presidential election news and events more closely.

* Democrats are more likely to use traditional news sites and social networking sites to find video content; Republicans tend to use search engines more than Democrats to find online video content.

* Online video users appear more engaged in the 2008 presidential election than their non-online video user counterparts; 62 percent of online video users, as opposed to 37 percent of non-online video users, follow the presidential election closely; 68 percent of online video users, as opposed to only 47 percent of non-online video users, followed both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.

“Visual networking is clearly playing a significant role in how American voters get political information and express their views,” said Ken Wirt, vice president of consumer marketing for Cisco. “The 2008 election has rightfully captured the attention of the United States, and the Internet serves as a very effective tool in helping people investigate issues, make informed choices and share their opinions.”

Additional results from the Cisco VNI Pulse Political survey, including results based on demographics (gender, age and income) and party affiliation, can be found at As part of the ongoing Cisco VNI Pulse initiative, Cisco will sponsor additional research to be conducted over the next year to provide a deeper understanding of consumer video behaviors and attitudes on a global scale.

1 Measured unique visitors to Web sites in the “online video segment” monthly from 2004 vs. 2008, including mainstream news and network TV sites including CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC and others, as well as popular video blogs, YouTube, Netflix, and more.
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