What’s Appealing About the Digital Video Experience?

May 19, 2016

This article is included in these additional categories:

Creative & Formats | Digital | Men | Video | Youth & Gen X

IABGfK-Digital-Video-Appeal-May2016Convenience has long been touted as the primary benefit of streaming video, and a new report [pdf] released by the IAB in conjunction with the NewFronts shows that on-demand viewing continues to be the main driver of digital video viewing. However, this isn’t the case for all types of online video.

The ability to watch on one’s own schedule is what viewers like best about TV online (network TV shows online such as The Walking Dead or those found on sites like ABC.com) and original digital video (originally produced online video for ad-supported online distribution, such as Wall Street Journal Live News or YouTube Original Channels). But when it comes to amateur online video (such as funny cat videos), humor is the top draw.

One other appeal of original digital video that’s growing over time is its exclusivity. Indeed, 2 of the top 3 reasons for watching original digital video (among monthly viewers) relate to watching content not available via other online video channels and because respondents enjoy watching content that’s not available on TV. Compared to a similar study conducted 3 years ago, these seem to have grown more important relative to the appeal of watching video content about the viewers’ hobbies or interests.

Research from MarketingCharts shows that youth significantly over-index in monthly online TV viewership, and the IAB and GfK study similarly indicate that young (18-34) males are the most apt to be increasing their original digital video viewing. In fact, this demographic was 50% more likely than the typical original digital video viewer to say that they see themselves spending more time watching this type of video in the next 12 months (42% vs. 28%).

Meanwhile, for viewers of both original digital video and primetime TV, the convenience of being able to watch on one’s own schedule is the primary advantage of the former. New/different/original content as well as more variety are also key reasons, though they’re further behind and trumped by there being less (or no) commercials.

When it comes to advertising, there are some difference between the three main types of online video that were tracked in the report:

  • Viewers tend to notice ads the most when watching TV shows online, as opposed to original digital video or amateur online video;
  • Viewers are generally split between remembering ads the most when watching TV shows online and via original digital video;
  • Viewers feel that they have the most control over ads when watching amateur video, and also find ads the least annoying when watching this type of video.

As for annoying ads, a new study from Unruly – based on a survey of 3,200 internet users from the US, UK, Germany, Australia, Sweden, France, Indonesia and Japan – has some figures on what frustrates Millennials (18-34).

Apparently, with 93% of these youth considering ad blocking in the future, the key reasons for doing so are that they feel that they see too many ads (59%), that they see the same ads over and over again (49%) and that they feel “creeped out” by ads that follows them around the web (43%).

Recent research from Accenture indicates that more than 8 in 10 18-34-year-olds around the globe feel that ad interruptions while reading text or watching video online are too frequent, and that more than 7 in 10 feel that the ad interruptions do not meet their personal preferences.

About the Data: The IAB/GfK study data is based on a survey of 1,907 adults who are monthly+ viewers of online video and “ever” users of either TV Online, Amateur or Original Digital Video. Full surveys were completed with 852 monthly+ viewers of TV Online (509), Amateur (535) and Ad-supported Original Digital Video (407).

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