Study: Large audience watching, engaging in online video, ads

Thu, 10/09/2008 - 8:05am
Traci Patterson

There is a large audience of young, influential, engaged viewers who watch long-form online video and absorb the brand messages delivered to them in the online environment, according to a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Veoh Networks, an Internet TV company.

The study, “Watching The Web: How Online Video Engages Audiences,” found that Engaged Viewers (viewers who watch more than one hour of online video per week) make up nearly 40 percent of all online video viewers and watch nearly 75 percent of all online video.

Of these Engaged Viewers, those who spend the most time consuming and sharing long-form content: are more likely to watch videos all the way through; pay more attention to online video than they do TV; interact with and rate the videos they watch more frequently; are twice as likely to recall in-video ads and post-rolls than non-Engaged Viewers; agree more readily that advertising is fair and helps pay for their free experience; and consider banner ads and ads that come in between videos (mid-rolls) most effective.

“As online video viewing continues to grow as a primary source of entertainment, it will create many new opportunities for content providers and advertisers alike to reach engaged, influential audiences,” said Steve Mitgang, CEO of Veoh Networks. “Now is the time for advertisers to re-think their approaches to marketing in online video in order to captivate these valuable viewers as they drive online video into a mainstream entertainment medium.”

For Engaged Viewers, online video viewing is a growing consumer habit: 61 percent of them expect to spend significantly more time watching online video in the next year. The study also found that Engaged Viewers are young: 13- to 24-year-olds represent more than 35 percent of Engaged online video viewers. The study also found that Engaged Viewers watch an average of six kinds of video content – from animation to TV shows to movie trailers – during the course of a month.

The study segmented Engaged Viewers into three sub-groups based on time spent watching video, types of videos watched, comfort level managing the video viewing experience, propensity to share videos, and amount of attention paid to online video compared with TV: Watchers; who spend a little more than one hour watching video each week but don’t engage in the experience deeply; Controllers, who take an active role in controlling their video experience; and Connectors, who represent 7 percent of online viewers but consumer 20 percent of all online video.

According to the study, Connectors and Controllers are especially valuable because they not only watch more online video than others, they are shaping what others watch through their sharing. Both groups spend more time on long-form video sites and are more apt to feel that advertising is a fair tradeoff to pay for online video services. And Connectors are significantly more likely to notice brands and feel ads are useful when presented with products they are interested in.

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