Just An Online Minute... Study: Gender Gap For Online Video Will Shrink By 2011

Around seven in 10 male Web users viewed online video last year, according to a new report by research firm eMarketer. While women also turned to online video, they did so in smaller proportions; just 55% of female Web users watched online video last year, according to the report.

"Males consume online video more frequently and for longer periods than females do -- even though more females than males go online," writes eMarketer senior analyst Debra Aho Williamson in the report, "Women Online: Taking a New Look."

The gender gap will shrink considerably by 2011, when an estimated 89% of online men and 85% of online women will view video over the Web, according to the report.

Why will women increase their use of online video? One of the factors reportedly stems from print magazines' efforts to put more video clips online. "Female-targeted magazines ranging from Us Weekly to Teen magazine to Good Housekeeping are all rolling out video content; whether women will gravitate there in the long term is uncertain, but in the near term, the more content aimed at women, the better," states the study.



EMarketer also reports that online video ads are causing some ill will among Web users. "Given a list of five negative aspects of online video, the top choice for both males and females surveyed in February 2007 by Synovate for ClipBlast! (an Internet video search firm) was that it was too commercial, with too many ads. Females were slightly more likely than males to feel this way," the report notes.

That might explain why eMarketer recommended the use of non-video ads. "Just because your consumer is watching video online does not mean that your ad has to be video as well," states the report. "An animated ad, or one that contains mouse-over calls to action, could be even more effective, triggering interactions that may not have been possible with a video ad."

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