Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Where Do Consumers Watch Video?

MediaPost shares a study from Ipsos MediaCT that shouldn't surprise us. It demonstrates that the share of video consumed on TV is decreasing and on computers it is rising.

Considering that as recently as five years ago, the percentage of video viewed on either the television or the movie theater screen was probably 99%, the current stats are pretty striking. Among those who have streamed or downloaded video content, which is 52% of Americans age 12 and older, the share of video viewed online has grown from 11% to 19% in just one year.

And of course, the portion of video viewed on a computer monitor increases as age decreases--consumers age 12 to 17 view just 55% of their video on TV and 24% on a computer. While this isn't particularly unexpected, what I found surprising is how much online video is being consumed by older Americans. If you think those 55 and older are glued to their TVs and only use their PCs to check email, you'll be surprised to learn that among this cohort, almost one of every five hours of video viewing occurs on a computer.

This is just further evidence that marketers are going to need to shift more of their marketing dollars online. This will take some creativity and a willingness to experiment, since online video advertising is not yet standardized.

As discussed here last week, online video advertising is not likely to take the form of 30- and 60-second spots, an ad format that is being rejected by consumers on television and won't be any more welcome online. and Hulu are experimenting with movies and TV shows that are interrupted just as frequently as on television, but with substantially fewer and shorter ads. If this ad approach catches on--and I think it will--this could mean that video advertising inventory (both TV and online combined) could shrink in the coming years.

This sounds like a problem for marketers, but there is a trade off--consumers seem to be accepting of ads they cannot skip provided those ads are kept brief. And unlike on TV, online video ads can entice consumers to click through to learn more, so the right ad can create immediate and deeper engagement than is possible on TV.

If you care to learn more about the percentage of video consumers view on TV and PCs (not to mention portable DVD players, cell phones, and DVD players) visit MediaPost's Research Brief.

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