U.S. Viewers Spend 23 Minutes a Day Watching Online Video [Report]

U.S. Viewers Spend 23 Minutes a Day Watching Online Video [Report]

As NewFronts 2014 comes to an end, host IAB releases research that asserts that original digital video content consumption for adults in the U.S. increased by 15% compared to last year. Around 52 million adults now tune into original video content each month, with the ability to choose their own schedule being a major driver for many viewers.

The report, produced by IAB and media research group GFK, polled 1100 consumers of online video content to better gauge the viewing habits of modern Americans. Online TV, online video and original digital video content consumption were analysed to confirm what was drawing viewers in. Social media activity was also taken into consideration, and the report found that 25% of viewers who watched original digital video content discussing those shows across their social feeds, as opposed to only 15% of respondents who actively tweeted or liked prime-time TV content.

The study aimed to identify the size of market for professionally produced, original video content, against amateur content, and relative to TV or Movie content. IAB also wanted to established the patterns of behavior behind online video viewing habits as opposed to the more lean-back TV experience.

Key Takeaways of Report

  • Approximately 52 million adult Americans aged 18 and over watch original digital video each month – an increase of 15% (45 million) from a year ago.
  • 4 in 10 young adults aged 18-34 watch original content each month, a 25% increase on last year. More males watch original content than females.
  • 28% of U.S. adults watch TV online content per month, 31% of U.S. adults watch Amateur content.
  • TV and original digital video were seen by viewers as “filling different niches”. Original digital video is associated with a sense of control that viewers don’t find with TV

Minutes Per Day Spent Watching Online Video: By Content

The average person (i.e those aged between 18 and 64 years old) spends around 23 minutes a day watching internet video – that’s 12% of their average day. That includes all types of video content.

How are Viewers Finding Video Content to Watch?

The IAB survey confirms how important word of mouth can be when selecting what content to watch. 51% of respondents confirm that they have watched a video, or an online TV show, or an amateur video because it was recommended to them. Now, are they talking about word-of-mouth in person and disclaiming social networking recs (because I’m guessing most of us are friends with at least some of our social contacts, right?) or has there been some room for overlap here? I suspect not, as they identify a different stream for social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Interestingly, ads account for 29% of recommendations, with search results accounting for 22%.

Who is Watching What on Which Device?

The laptop/PC is still the top device when it comes to watching online video, although there have been significant increases in consumption via Internet-connected TVs, smartphones, and tablets.

Original Video Content and Social Media

When it comes to talking about content across social media, original content seems to lend itself better to engagement than traditional TV content. 52% of respondents confirmed that they were more willing to share, and talk about original content as opposed to 38% of respondents who wanted to do the same for prime-time TV content.

The full report, including methodology, can be downloaded from the IAB site here.


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