If you are like me, you don’t think much about the time you spend watching online video. It sort of just happens—an article takes you to YouTube, a friend emails you about a video, a coworker shares an interview… Well, it is time to quantify these experiences.

The latest study from Arbitron and Edison Research, “The Infinite Dial 2010: Navigating Digital Platforms,” did exactly this type of quantification, revealing some promising trends about online video.

Conducted in early 2011, the report surveyed 2,020 Americans age 12 and older. 38% of the respondents said they have watched online video last week. That is a 26% increase from 2006 when only 12% of respondents indicated they recently viewed online video. We can only anticipate for this number to go up, showing people’s readiness to embrace online video. This is a fortunate reality for businesses.

The survey respondents also said that they spent more time watching online video than they did in the past. While in 2008 online video consumed 2 hours and 20 minutes from people’s time per week, now it retains their attention for longer. In 2011, viewers reported they spent 3 hours and 26 minutes per week watching online video.

The growth in people’s consumption of online video is a sure sign you should get involved in video marketing. This doesn’t have to be a huge project that requires its separate team and expensive equipment. You can start small by hiring a video production intern and doing a few interviews with your customers, demoing your product in a more engaging way or even showcasing the quirks of your employees.