For anyone who’s heard people in line at Starbucks or the supermarket talking about Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee or Orange is the New Black like they’ve cracked the code for cold fusion, this will come as no surprise: Americans are watching more and more original digital video.
That’s the conclusion of the 2014 Original Digital Video Study released by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) on Wednesday at the close of the Digital NewFronts in New York City. It goes so far as to conclude that viewers of original digital programming prefer it to news, sports and daytime programming on linear TV, and like it almost as much as primetime television programming.
Produced for the IAB by consumer market research firm Gfk, the study found that 22% of American adults watch original digital video each month, bringing the total to 52 million a month. That’s a 15% increase from the 45 million per month in last year’s IAB/Gfk study. It also found that 4 in 10 young adults age 18 to 34 watch it monthly, a 25% increase from 2013.
The report also stated that 46% of people surveyed viewed content on smartphones and 41% viewed it on tablets, levels almost twice of those a year ago. At the same time, 48% also use internet-connected TVs to watch original digital video, also nearly double the rate in 2013.
The report pinpoints the “anytime, anywhere” nature of original digital video as one of the key elements of its appeal. Forty-one percent of those surveyed cited viewing flexibility as the top reason for watching “made for digital” content instead of traditional TV.
The study also found that viewing habits for original digital video strongly differs from traditional television in several significant ways:
- More than half of monthly original digital video users report their viewing of the medium is unplanned, compared with only about one quarter of regular primetime television viewers and those that watch TV online.
- Fifty-two percent of original digital video viewers conduct social media activities related to the shows they watch online, more than they do for primetime TV (38%).
- Original digital video is more likely to be consumed solo and in shorter durations than with traditional television.
The 2014 Original Digital Video Study was fielded in March and April 2014. GfK screened over 2,300 persons age 18 or older about their online video habits, and full interviews were completed with 1,011 persons who viewed online video at least once a month.
Screengrab from 2014 Original Digital Video Study.