Commentary

Young and Short: Online Video Driven by Youth Watching Clips

While full-episode TV re-viewing seemed to have gotten much of the press and even advertiser attention in recent years, new research sponsored by short-form hub Metacafe begs to differ with some conventional wisdom. In its annual sponsored study of online video habits from Frank N. Magid, Metacafe says that 63% of digital video viewers watch music videos, movie trailers, TV clips, sports or video game content, while only 40% tend to watch full-length TV shows or movies. Still the preference continues to be for professionally produced content of all kinds, which is watched by 76% of all users and more than two thirds of viewers across every age demo.

Of course, the research sponsor Metacafe is itself a video destination that features professionally produced short form entertainment.

Confirming other studies, Magid and Metacafe find that total time spent watching video online is up and the percentage of online users who watch video each week has grown from 43% last year to 50% this year. Thirteen percent say they watch video daily online and 23% say they watch several times a week. Young males continue to drive consumption in this segment, with 85% of males 18-24 and 68% of females 18-24 watching video weekly. At age 35 the numbers shift noticeably, with only 57% of men 35-44 and 34% of women 34-45 watching weekly.

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The impulse to move that Web video content to the living room TV seems to be strong, especially among the young. The study found 38% interested in connecting their computer to their TV, but 56% of the 18-24 male segment and 40% of the teen (12-17) girl segment interested in Web-to-TV viewing. But interestingly, very few respondents felt that their online video viewing was affecting their TV consumption. Only 14% felt the Web was reducing their TV use and 72% felt they continued to watch about the same amount of live TV.

The good news for publishers and advertisers is the widespread acceptance of video advertising, with 48% saying that ads in online clips are just as acceptable as they are on TV. That sentiment appears to be fairly consistent across age groups, with slightly less than a majority of all demos agreeing that digital video ads are the same as TV spots. This is further validation of the trend toward upping the ad load on Web video. Apparently, the industry is well within its audience's range of tolerance. In most age groups less than a quarter of respondents thought video ads were worse than TV.

The full report from Magid and Metacafe is available here.

2 comments about "Young and Short: Online Video Driven by Youth Watching Clips".
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  1. Chris Pape from Genuine Interactive, June 29, 2010 at 2:10 p.m.

    Great article. I wonder if the lower (but still impressive) full length video watching #'s are simply a function of comfort - meaning its more comfortable to plop in front of the TV on the couch. I suppose as TV and computers converge it will even out.

  2. Jonathan Mirow from BroadbandVideo, Inc., June 29, 2010 at 4:55 p.m.

    Really, when considering the majority of clips on YouTube (and MetaCafe) - how long DOES it take a cat to barf or a guy to get kicked in the balls? I'm guessing under two minutes...

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