ResourceShelf, a research site run by Gary Price and Shirl Kennedy, provides us with an interesting statistic from comScore Video Metrix about online video downloads in December 2008.
Online video downloads in the United States hit 14.3 billion in December 2008, an increase of 13 percent over the previous month.
YouTube downloads contributed largely to the surge.
The analysis doesn't go any deeper, but I'm speculating as to why we saw such a dramatic increase, especially coming off a November 2008 that included heavy election night downloads. What about December drove people to download so much video?