Online Video Viewers Prefer News Clips, Shorter Ads

August 29, 2007

This article is included in these additional categories:

Creative & Formats | Media & Entertainment | Television

Most consumers – 62% – are viewing video online, and contrary to popular opinion those viewers are not just young adults viewing user-generated videos, according to a bi-annual video study from AOL’s, which sought to analyze online video viewing and response to video advertising.

Most (69%) of those viewing videos are age 35 or older, with a preference for viewing news clips online, the study found.


“The internet is still seen first and foremost as an information resource. With news clips remaining the most popular type of streamed content, video viewing habits reflect that status,” said Lynda Clarizio, president of

“But it will be interesting to see how viewership evolves with the rise of social networks, more diverse video content, increased interactive gaming, and other such advances in online entertainment. I think we may see a shift in usage toward recreation; these latest figures certainly hint at that trend.”

As for video advertisements, consumers accept them as part of the video experience – 94% of respondents prefer ads to subscription fees. However, 63% of respondents say shorter ads would make the online video experience more pleasurable.


Shorter spots also deliver higher percent-viewed rates, according to data from the network.

Other key findings from the study:

  • More news, user-generated content:
    • In the first half of 2007, 62% of consumers viewed news clips online, followed by movie trailers with 38%.
    • Music videos came in third at 36%, decreasing from 47% in the second half of 2006.


  • Tastes differ by age:
    • The 18-34-year-old audience prefers entertainment content such as music videos and TV shows. They also create more online video content than those ages 35 and older.
    • In contrast, the 35 and older audience is more likely to view news.
    • Compared with the previous study, 18-34-year-olds are streaming more movies, TV shows and user-generated videos.
    • Those 35 and older are streaming more sports clips and user-generated videos than previously reported.
  • Complementing TV, not replacing it:


    • 51% of survey respondents would watch a television episode online if they missed it on TV.
    • However, 80% of consumers say that online video usage does not cut into their TV time.

About the study:’s research covered the first two quarters of 2007 and incorporated both consumer survey data and video advertising performance data from the video network. The survey was hosted by online market research company InsightExpress.

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