Online Video Evolves

According to a recently released Yahoo! Study with Interpret (following up on a similar 2009 study) Online Video continues to grow significantly, specifically full-length movies and TV shows. In a given day 57% watched an online video, a 33% increase from 2009. However, short clips still represent the majority of videos watched.

Content Type Watched in Last 24 Hours (% of Respondents)

Content Type



Short Clips



Full length TV shows



Full length movies



Source: Yahoo!, August 2011

Yahoo! observed a change in online video that signals a maturation of this media format, says the report. Phase 1 of online video in 2009 was a revolution, but phase 2 in 2011 is an evolution. This evolution is happening on video consumption habits, the sharing of video content and the video content itself.

Key questions answered in the follow up research include:

  • How have online video consumption and viewing habits changed in the last 2 years?
  • What type of video content is being viewed and what are consumers expecting to watch more of in the future?
  • How does the professional production value of video content impact engagement and ad receptivity?

The study found an increase of +30 percentage pts in online video viewership between the hours of 6pm to 9pm in 2011. Viewership during "business hours" (9am-5pm) has declined, with the majority of videos seen in the evening when viewers are home. The growth of services like Netflix and Hulu (both of which have more than doubled in 2011) have likely prompted the growth in evening video streaming.

While there has been an overall increase in streams that are shared, the percentage of viewers that share videos has decreased in the past two years. Only 26% of respondents stated they actually shared the video they just watched, compared to 34% in 2009. The overall video sharer has gotten older, as the 25-54 demographic has grown from 64% to 72%. And, older demographics are less likely to share video, thus contributing to a smaller proportion of online video sharers.

Video advertising receptivity increases when it's tied to professionally produced content. The report says that for professional videos, viewers are significantly more likely to remember seeing the ad, retain product information or recall the brand being advertised. Ads associated with professional content are also more likely to be viewed as relevant to consumers.

Professionally Made vs. Made by Amateur (% of Respondents)


Professional Ad


Advertiser recall



Remember brand or product



Ad was annoying



Ad was intrusive



Ad was relevant to video being watched



Ad was relevant personally



Source: Yahoo!, August 2011

When it comes to online video, half will follow an online original series to learn new things and 60% intend to seek more professionally-produced short online clips in the future. Roughly 70% who watch these clips find them by way of their homepage, on large content sites or by going to a video site directly.

Consumers show greater engagement to professionally polished videos attached to "mixed media," like articles. They're also more receptive to ads in video environments that include content. 57% of online video viewers say they enjoy watching a video next to an article. The study also found that when a video is viewed on a page that includes an article, viewers are more likely to watch the video to get more information, recall seeing the advertising, and view the video as "professional" - resulting in a consumer who is in a more open mindset for advertising.

Online Video Alone vs Video With Article (% of Respondents)

Viewing Attitude

Video Alone

Video w/Article

Watched to get more information



Watch for entertainment



Recall seeing the advertising



Though of as professional



Source: Yahoo!, August 2011

The report concludes by noting that as online video continues to grow and become more mainstream, an evolution is taking place on three fronts: viewer consumption habits, the sharing of video content and even the video content itself.

For additional information about the report, please visit here.

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