I used to argue -- admittedly based on gut and common sense -- that one could read (or at least scan) five, ten, even 20 articles per day, but at most, on average a person could watch two, maybe three videos per day (with an average of five minutes). While reading provides a far more immersive experience, video is a far more demanding activity (especially when you have to sit through a pre-roll).
But now, powered by the Millennial generation, the concept of binge viewing is not limited to HBO or AMC shows but content in general, I realize. Last week my company ran a survey, asking our YouTube subscribers to tell us more about themselves and their consumption patterns.
We recently upped our publishing schedule from at least one clip per day to two, and we were weighing the pros and cons of publishing three, four, or even -- dare I say it -- five or more clips per day. My fear, logically, was that more content would cannibalize views from other clips. So the survey was to determine whether or not our audience would watch an infinite amount of content. In economics parlance, would demand be elastic enough to keep up with supply as supply grew?
While our YouTube audience skews more 18-34, 79% of respondents were 12-24. If you include the 25-34 segment, then 93% fall between 12-34. Whether or not the hundreds of respondents of this survey are fully representative of the web universe's population --- representing 87% male, 93% 12-34 is debatable -- but still our the sample size should represent the young male demo pretty well.
Now granted, these were our most active, intense and hard-core viewers, who basically seem to forego sleep and homework to watch videos in massive continuous sequences). Some of the findings include:
- 90% watch the whole video.
- 70% like videos that are 5-10 minutes.
- Only 13% have stopped watching a video because it's too long.
- 56% watch most of the videos we publish; while 20% watch every single one; 17% watch those that interest them.
- A whopping 47% watch "as many of our videos as possible" on each visit.
With YouTube becoming ground zero for all-things-web-video, then understanding your audience and the broader demo you are targeting is imperative.