Although nothing beats prime-time TV, a majority of U.S. consumers now favor original digital video over news, sports and daytime programming on television. That's according to new research produced by GfK on behalf of the Interactive Advertising Bureau.
Among other factors, viewing flexibility was cited as the main reason most people now prefer “made for digital” content. As a result, more than one in five U.S. adults (22%) now watch original digital video each month.
That brings digital video's audience to 52 million per month -- a 15% increase year-over-year, according to GfK.
“This much consumer enthusiasm should translate into increased advertising dollars moving into original digital video,” stated Sherrill Mane, SVP of Research, Analytics and Measurement at the IAB.
The ability to watch “anytime, anywhere” was also reflected by a sharp increase in the mobile viewing of original digital video. Smartphones (46%) and tablets (41%) are now being used to view original programming at nearly double 2013 levels.
Also of note, nearly half of U.S. adults (48%) now use Web-connected TVs to watch original digital video, which is also twice the level recorded last year.
Meanwhile, more than half of monthly original digital video users report their viewing of the medium is unplanned -- compared with only about one quarter of those who watch TV online and regular prime-time television viewers.
Across TV dayparts and categories, there has been a significant decline in planned viewing, with patterns becoming more similar to how consumers approach original digital viewing.
Social media sites are playing a greater role in the discovery of original digital programming.
Original digital video viewers conduct more social media activities related to the shows they watch online (52%) than they do for prime-time TV (38%), GfK found.
To reach its findings, GfK screened over 2,300 U.S. adults for viewing of online video, while full interviews were completed with 1,011 of those participants.
The actual findings in this study regarding how viewers relate to ads on online videos relative to primetime and other forms of TV must be evaluated in the context of its design. When respondents answer rather generalized questions about their recall of ads or how they feel about advertising you can't take their replies literally. For example, the study reports that 41% of viewers "tend to remember" primetime TV ads the most while the comparable figure for daytime TV was only 27% and news fell even lower ( 21% ). Does Nielsen's ongoing TV ad recall service, which measures the response to specific ads in these dayparts, reveal anything approaching such huge disparities in its normative findings? Not likely.