Free online video content continues to gain attention from consumers. Most want it in an instant. More than half of surveyed respondents admit to spending more time obtaining or viewing online movie and online television content than they did a year ago, but spend about the same amount of money. While consumers spend more time online viewing video content, much of that content is free, according to a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers study.
While the study -- "Premium content consumption: responding to the 'instant access' consumer" -- offers up trends mostly on premium video content models and consumer behaviors related to movie and television shows, it also provides insight into what attracts consumers to video content, the type of content that most interests them, and what devices they find most comfortable accessing it with. For example, consumers want faster access to content, would rather rent than purchase movies, and when it comes to long-form content would rather watch it on television compared with online.
Search marketers exploring cross-channel campaign options may find it too soon this holiday season to tie in video campaigns running on smartphone devices for Android and iOS. Those who are ready to dive in or have already begun to integrate video may want to leave the long-form content for television and explore short-form options on smartphones. It's also important to note that according to the PwC study, consumer reaction to distribution channels for longer-view content remains mixed. Facebook and digital lockers are gaining acceptance, but viewing video content on smartphones remains optimal only for a chosen few.
TV generates 66% interest among survey participants, and content on computers and tablets has become the most influential. Fifty-eight percent of survey respondents said they spend more time now viewing movie and television content online than they did a year ago. Consumers, however, say mobile devices are not as desirable. Only 23% said they watch video on smartphone devices because the small screens and the slow speeds detract from the viewing experience.
Consumers ranked the ability to obtain TV shows and movies through a smartphone as the second-least-appealing feature, ranking No. 8 out of nine possible options. It turns out that 44% said they would pay nothing for this option, while 43% would pay only up to $5. Small screens are still considered to provide a less enjoyable experience, although consumers continue to watch short-form video and play casual games on smartphones.