Tuesday, October 7, 2008

How Online Video Engages Audiences

Much has been written about YouTube and there is ample hype about where online video is going. I don't get too excited about the latest dog on skateboard or Japanese student in dorm room dance sensation. Forrester Research (commissioned by Veoh Networks) recently took a systemic and fundamental look at online video and the impact it is having on consumer behavior and attitudes.

James McQuivey presented a summary of this today at an event in NYC "Watching the Web: Engaging Consumers in Online Video. See James' blog for his personal take on the subject.  The full research will be available via Veoh. It answers questions such as . . .
  1. What it means to be an engaged online video viewer
  2. Why engaged viewers watch online video
  3. How online video holds viewers attention
  4. Which types of online video are more likely to engage consumers
  5. Whether online video present advertisers with a unique medium with which to reach consumers
  6. How viewers feel toward online video advertising
  7. Which advertising experiences are more likely to be be accepted by viewers
Online Video is Hot
  • Nearly 2/3rds of those online in the U.S. watch video in a typical month (117M)
  • The average online video viewer watches 56 minutes a week (>100m of total viewing hours each week)
  • Moving beyond strictly a YouTube phenomenon - people are watching everything from animation to TV re-runs to news clips
"Our kids will take a look at us sideways when we talk about schedules for TV."

Engaged Viewers are Most Attractive
Online video is creating a market of users who are more engaged and involved with the content being viewed (pay more attention - as I check email, switch between baseball playoffs, Monday night football and a "classic" Sharks hockey game, draft a blog entry, twitter, talk to my son and listen to voice mail) and are more receptive to ads. Marketers need to understand this audience and then leverage video content to connect to their core/target audiences.

Who are Engaged Video Viewers
Forrester defined Engaged Viewers as those who watch more than an hour of online video per week.
  • Though they are just 36% of online viewers, they watch 74% of all video
  • A third of them - 36% - are between 13 and 24 years old
  • They spend 2.5 hours with online video a week (on average), watching 6.1 different types of video content
  • They pay close attention to what they are watching (vs. when watching TV)
Forrester breaks these Engaged Viewers down into more detailed groups of consumers worth understanding.

Long-Form Video Engages More
Long-form content sites not only attract desirable viewers, but also they cultivate an environment that garners more viewer attention and engagement with advertising. Some unique attributes of those who watch long-form content online:
  • more likely to pay full attention to the videos they watch
  • interact and rate the videos they watch more often
  • 2x as likely to recall in-video ads
  • agree more readily that advertising helps pays for their free experience
  • try to replicate the TV experience by looking for things "they wish were on TV"
Implications for Content Providers
Online video growth will continue and will result in more engaged viewers. Content providers need to prepare given:
  • Engaged Viewers want even more content
  • They want it to be even easier to watch
  • They enjoy the convenience of watching many kinds of video on the same site
Implications for Advertisers
Advertisers need to rethink their approaches in order reach the Engaged Viewer
  • Think "Advertainment", not Advertisement - be creative and don't repeat the same ad over and over in the same piece of content
  • Use all the ad units on a page in concert to activate viewers
  • Use content (and sites) to target video ads
More details, including details on the make-up and composition of engaged video viewers, available Veoh Networks.

See NY Times (GigaOM) coverage, including recent research from Heavy.


Jenn O'Meara said...

Web video marketing is poised to be a powerful way to reach an audience. Our customers have created flimp videosite campaigns that generate 4 to 7 times higher response rates than static email marketing campaigns. Online video viewers are willing to engage with content at a much higher rate than traditional interactive campaigns. Thanks for sharing this study.

About The Savvy Sommelier said...

YW, Jenn. See add'l coverage from NYT (GigaOM): http://www.nytimes.com/external/gigaom/2008/10/09/09gigaom-research-engaged-viewers-and-male-behavior-9707.html