According to a new study “Watching The Web: How Online Video Engages Audiences” conducted by Forrester Consulting for Veoh Networks, , not all online video viewers are equal when it comes to advertising. While some online video viewers still only “snack” on short clips, there exists a large audience of young, influential, engaged viewers who watch a great deal of long-form online video and pay attention to the brand messages delivered to them in online video environments.
The study found that Engaged Viewers (viewers who watch more than an hour of online video a week) make up nearly 40% of all online video viewers and watch nearly 75% 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 more 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
• Consider banner ads and ads that come in between videos (mid-rolls) most effective
Steve Mitgang, CEO of Veoh Networks, opines “…online video viewing… will create many new opportunities for content providers and advertisers… advertisers (should) re-think their approaches to marketing… to captivate these valuable viewers as they drive online video into a mainstream entertainment medium.”
The study found that online video viewing For Engaged Viewers is not a fad but rather a growing consumer habit:
• 61% of Engaged Viewers expect to spend significantly more time watching online video
• 13- to 24-year-olds make up only 15% of the online population, but represent more than 35% of Engaged online video viewers
• Engaged Viewers watch an average of 6 kinds of video content, from animation to TV shows to movie trailers, during the course of a month
The study further 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 to TV:
• Watchers, those who spend just over an hour watching video each week and don’t engage the experience deeply by controlling playback or sharing videos
• Controllers, those younger viewers take an active role in controlling their video experiences and feel that online video is important to their lives
• Connectors, though just 7% of online viewers, consume 20% of all online video and do 42% of all online video sharing
The most desirable viewers – Connectors and Controllers – watch long-form video more often than Watchers do, so sites that offer a great deal of long-form video are the ideal places to reach them. Long-form video sites not only attract these viewers, but they also foster an environment that secures more viewer attention and engagement with advertising. Connectors are significantly more likely to notice brands and feel ads are useful when presented with products they are interested in.
As online video viewing matures, advertisers can take advantage of the unique opportunity to reach valuable Engaged Viewers by considering these findings, concludes the report:
• Engaged video viewers are more open to enjoying the advertising they watch giving marketers an opportunity to create ads that are as entertaining as the video clips they are paired with.
• Engaged video viewers are more involved in every aspect of the viewing experience, including the advertising.
• Engaged viewers respond to ad formats that don’t intrude unfairly. Their preference for banner ads supports this. But banner ads can be supported by a comprehensive ad experience
• As more viewers spend more than an hour a week viewing online video, advertisers can match ads to viewers with long-form content, where the choice of programming defines the viewer