Original Digital Video Programming on the Rise

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59 million U.S. adults are tuning in to video at least once a month, a study finds.

In addition to holding a firm grasp on almost one quarter of the American adult population, original digital video programming also has the capabilities to attract the elusive 18- to 34-year-old demographic of cord-cutters/cord-nevers.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau’s “2015 Original Digital Video Study” shows that 24% of U.S. adults, an audience of 59 million, is turning to original digital video programming at least once per month—an uptick of 13% over last year’s total.

The survey, produced by GfK and which polled more than 1,900 consumers, extrapolates that the 17 million cord-cutters are about twice as likely as other adults to view such content. Fifty-three percent of cord-cutters and 63% of cord-nevers polled view this programming as very or somewhat important in their decision not to have pay TV. In addition, these demographics are inclined to find the ads shown during this type of programming to be more interesting or fun (43%); more than one third (35%) of the general audience of this content concurs about the likability of such ads.

Respondents are using connected TVs (56%), smartphones (56%), and tablets (48%) to stream original digital video more than twice as often as two years ago, while computer viewing of such videos holds steady at 72%. Almost two thirds (65%) of people who stream videos on connected TVs say they typically watch during prime time and half (53%) say they’re doing so more than they did a year ago.

“Original digital video programming is attracting a growing audience—especially younger viewers 18-34 who are highly desirable to many advertisers,” said Sherrill Mane, SVP, research, analytics, and measurement, at IAB. “Brands and media buyers need to be aware not only of the growth in popularity of original digital video, but also recognize the variety of screens where this content is consumed. Earlier IAB research showed that connected TVs are gaining ground, and this study independently substantiates those findings and shows that those who enjoy made-for-digital content are watching that programming more and more by streaming to traditional television sets.”

Word of mouth (53%) is atop the list of ways to discover original digital video content, but social media is playing a larger role—42% in 2015 versus 24% in 2013. In face, 55% of regular viewers of made-for-digital video programming say they have greater social media interactions than they do during traditional TV.

“There is no question that this type of innovative, interactive content—ready to inform and entertain consumers anywhere at any time—is at the heart of a sea change across the media landscape,” said Anna Bager, SVP, Mobile and Video, IAB and General Manager of the IAB Digital Video and Mobile Marketing Centers of Excellence. “Viewers’ preferences and behaviors are shifting, and so too will advertising dollars.”

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