If you are watching something stream on the internet, there's a good chance it is on YouTube.

New research from non-profit organization Pew Internet Research and network enterprise management supplier Allot Communications recently highlighted the growing prominence of sites like YouTube. From the research, the conclusion is evident: streaming video is here and it's here to say.

"The rise of broadband and better mobile networks and devices has meant that video has become an increasingly popular part of users' online experiences," Kathleen Moore of Pew, said in a statement. "People use these sites for every imaginable reason - to laugh and learn, to watch the best and worst of popular culture and to check out news."

According to research from Pew, 71 percent of online Americans are using YouTube and other sites. This is up from 66 percent a year ago and way up from 33 percent in 2006. The growth has been led by the rural internet community, which is now just as likely as urban users to find something on YouTube. Growth has also come from the online African-American and Hispanic communities.

This isn't just a land-based phenomenon. Allot says nearly a quarter of mobile internet bandwidth is taken up by people watching videos on YouTube. YouTube traffic represents 22 percent of mobile bandwidth to be exact and 52 percent of video streaming traffic.

Video streaming accounts for 39 percent of all mobile traffic. This is a 93 percent increase from the previous year. According to Allot, this represents a changing shift in the mobile landscape.

"OTT (over the top video) applications continue to shift the balance of power from the operators to the content and app providers," stated Allot Communications Chief Executive Rami Hadar. "This presents a real challenge for survival to which operators have already begun to respond."

Total mobile bandwidth usage is up 77 percent. The report, called the H1 2011 Allot MobileTrends Report, said to account for the increase, mobile providers have gotten rid of unlimited data plans. Recently, Verizon Wireless (the largest wireless provider in the U.S.) introduced its tiered data price plan.

"We are seeing operators taking the opportunity to evolve their service plans, away from 'unlimited' and towards application-aware models, in order to meet this challenge," Hadar said.

Follow Gabriel Perna on Twitter at @GabrielSPerna