Online video audience: majority skews older

29 08 2007

Advertising.com has released results of its bi-annual online video study for the first half of 2007, revealing some marked differences in the way audiences younger and older than 35 are using the medium.

Shattering preconceptions that online video is the domain of younger audiences, the survey finds that the majority (69%) of users are aged 35 years or older (v. 31% of 18 to 34s).

However, the type of content viewed by each age segment provides some interesting clues on how content providers should be targeting their offers. Page 3 of the report finds that 18 to 34s like music videos best, followed by TV shows. While around a third to a quarter of 35+ audiences favour the same, the overwhelming majority (69%) like news clips best.

Almost two-thirds of 18-34s say they use online TV for catching-up on missed broadcast episodes of favourite shows, with almost a third also saying that online video is eroding traditional TV viewing time.

94% of respondents say that they’d happily suffer commercials online if it meant that the content was free, but advertisers take note: two-thirds favour shorter spots than those which run on linear TV and almost a quarter believe these should be more relevant to users’ interests.





TV viewing in continued decline — IBM consumer research

23 08 2007

The internet is severely eroding TV viewing time, claims a consumer survey released yesterday by the IBM Institute for Business Value. But while consumers are spending increasing amounts of time online, their viewing behaviours may be shifting to the web or mobile devices.

The 38-question internet survey of around 2,400 consumers around the world, almost half of which were aged 18 to 34, found that:

  • 81% said they’d watched video via the internet
  • 19% were spending six or more hours of personal time per day on the internet, v. 9% reporting equivalent time in front of the TV
  • A quarter of U.S. respondents said they owned a DVR and watched recorded programmes at least half of the time; though a third claimed they are watching more TV as a result of having a DVR. But in spite of DVRs, Australians prefer to watch 75% of TV live.
  • Nearly a third of U.K. respondents who watched mobile TV reduced their viewing via a traditional TV set as a result
  • Australians are the world’s greatest contributors to social networks, trailed by the U.S. and U.K.

Video interviews of consumer attitudes reflected by the survey can be found here:

Wired has today [23 Aug] followed up with a great interview with IBM’s Bill Battino, communications sector managing partner for IBM Global Business Services, in particular points on how the coming bandwidth crunch will be managed:

Wired News: If most TV moves to the Internet, do you think the infrastructure/pipes can handle such increased data traffic?

Battino: The question is when, not if. Delivering all but the most basic digital content services over networks that were originally designed for voice communications and Web browsing is challenging, and telecom, cable and satellite operators will, in all likelihood, have to upgrade their networks to compete. Even with higher compression technology like MPEG-4, delivering HDTV, multi-room TV and the like, as well as voice, gaming, Internet surfing and other communication services means that every home must have a bandwidth of 20 megabits or more.

As demand for high-definition television (HDTV), real-time video on demand (VoD) and other next-generation services increases, we are heading toward a bandwidth crunch in many countries with the possible exception of parts of south-east Asia including Singapore and Korea, where 95 -100 percent of households can obtain very high speed access. To deliver bandwidth-intensive content services and the experience consumers demand, telcos and distributors will have to make major investments in upgrading their networks. We anticipate that the investments going into IPTV through Fiber-TV, will accelerate bandwidth dramatically, as well as VC investment in wireless technologies.
 

Wired News: We hear a lot of talk about the Internet democratizing content distribution, but what are the real chances that other YouTube-like networks (not owned by major corps) will be able to compete with YouTube and the major studios rolling out their own mini-online networks (such as ComedyCentral’s Motherload)?

Battino: Never underestimate the creativity that can come from the VC and private equity community. Just as people thought MySpace had a monopoly, you saw other entrants (e.g. Facebook) generating interest levels. We may see some backlash against the big players, which will open up the window for new entrants. Also, our survey found that the majority of individuals visited sites based on recommendations from their peers; this also leaves an opening for new entrants. Finally, keep in mind that many of the sites now owned by major corporations started as independents and were then acquired.





Accenture’s 2007 survey of media thought leadership

17 08 2007

Consulting firm Accenture has released its 2007 survey of 100 media and entertainment moguls, citing the following key findings:

  • 80% of execs say web 2.0 is no bubble
  • 68% claim they’ll find a way to monetise social media within the next one to three years
  • 62% believe new platforms are the most important key to growth, with a slim majority in asserting that entertainment portals will win out over social networks (a staggering 86% are planning to devote digital ad spend to the former, v. 41% for the latter)
  • Yet 57% see the greatest competitive threat coming from consumer-generated media
  • And 53% say short-form content shows the greatest promise

“The media value chain boundaries are blurring, driven by digital transformation, disintermediation, emerging new competitors and the rise of end-user control,” the report concludes.





Content & search the victors in online use study

14 08 2007

U.S. Internet users are spending nearly half their online time visiting content, a 37% increase in share of time from four years ago, according to a study produced by the Online Publishers Association (OPA).

The OPA’s Internet Activity Index segments monthly usage by content, search, commerce and communications. While use of search has shown massive growth during the four-year term of the study, it accounts for a share of just 5% of online user time; while use of communications sites, such as MSN Groups and Yahoo! Mail, have plunged 28% since 2003, thanks to the rise of apps such as MSN Messenger.

 Four Year Summary of OPA Internet Activity Index:

                       Share of Time  Share of Time    Share of Time Online
                        Online 2003    Online 2007*       Change 03 – 07
    Content                 34 %            47 %               + 37 %
    Search                   3 %             5 %               + 35 %
    Commerce                16 %            15 %                – 5 %
    Communications          46 %            33 %               – 28 %
    Total                  100 %           100 %                 —

    * 2007 includes January through May.

Tables detailing trends in user behaviour during the last year can be found here.

The OPA believes the key themes driving behavioural change are:

 — A more accessible, and much faster, Internet is driving increased
       overall time spent online.

    — The increased popularity of video is leading to more time being spent
       with online content.

    — The improvement in search allows consumers to more easily and quickly
       find the exact content they are looking for, increasing the likelihood
       they will engage more deeply with that content.

    — The Web simply offers far more content than it did even four years ago,
       increasing content’s share of time.

    — The rise of instant messaging (IM) as a key communications tool has
       been a factor in communication’s reduction in share of time.  IM is a
       more efficient communications vehicle than email.





Jupiter Research: delivering great online video

8 08 2007

The Importance of Delivering a Great Online Video Experience, a briefing note by market analysts Jupiter Research is now available free-of-charge, thanks to sponsorship by Akamai.

Unsurprisingly, given that Akamai is in the market to sell streaming infastructure, the report concludes that slow-to-start and constantly-buffering online video are among the biggest sources of consumer frustration.

The survey of online 2,319 online consumers claims that around a third of broadband users are interested in watching full-length TV shows and movies on the web; though short-form content such as news packages and music videos still seems to be winning more hearts and minds.

Portals and video-sharing sites get top ranking for sourcing online video, with just under a third saying they’d consider looking on a TV program or channel website (interestingly, women show a greater preference for such destinations than men).

Just under half of consumers say they prefer watching video on a TV screen, which begs the question: why does true convergence remain so painstakingly illusive? (answers on the back of an inter-operable postcard, please).