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Research: Online video viewing has doubled in past year

Tue, 09/30/2008 - 8:20am
Mike Robuck

According to a new survey of online households in the United States, the number of consumers who are watching video streams over their browsers has doubled in the past year.

ABI Research released the results of its most recent survey today, which found that streaming online viewing went from 32 percent last year to 63 percent this year. ABI cited the increased amount of rich content that is now available in ad-supported formats on portals and through social networks, as well as the increased demand from consumers for video in both short and long forms, as the reasons for the spike in views.

“Consumers are changing their online habits quickly,” said Research Director Michael Wolf. “Broadband speeds have continued to increase at the same time that Hollywood has decided online distribution is a legitimate monetization opportunity that will increase total return on their video assets, and expand audiences. At the same time, easy-to-use content creation tools are being put into the hands of consumers, and this has effectively created new forms of communication and entertainment.”

All forms of content are contributing to the rise of broadband video consumption, including that of long-form TV shows, and much of the longer-form content today is being watched by younger viewers.

When asked if they watched long-form content in the form of TV shows or movies online, nearly half of those under 25, and 53 percent of those aged 25-29, indicated that they do so once a month or more, according to the survey.

Older viewers are much more likely to have experimented once with online shows; and three-quarters of those over 65 who watch video online responded that they have never watched TV shows or movies online.

“Today’s younger consumers are developing habits that will mean drastic changes for the video entertainment market,” Wolf said. “Many consume a large percentage, or even a majority of their video entertainment, through online distribution today, and we believe that this trend will continue to accelerate as more efforts are made to put this content on various non-PC screens.”

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