IAB Study

One in four U.S. adults watching original digital video: survey

This marks a 13% uptick in viewership according to the annual IAB 2015 Original Digital Video Study.
May 6, 2015

America’s appetite for original digital video programming continues to grow with a record 59 million adults in the United States turning to computers, connected TVs, smartphones and tablets at least once a month to find the content they desire, according to a new study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

The results of the 2015 Original Digital Video Study, produced by GfK, mark an uptick of 13% over last year’s audience size of 52 million.

Millennials make up a large portion of the digital audience, according to the study, with 17 million respondents between 18 and 34 years falling into the cord-cutter, and even cord-never, category. Indeed, the survey found that young cord-cutters/nevers are about twice as likely as other adults to view original digital video.

In addition, cord-cutters/nevers are inclined to find the ads shown during original digital of programming to be “more interesting” or “fun” (43%). Across age groups, a third (35%) of the general original digital viewing audience is in agreement about the likability of the ads.

More key findings:

  • Connected TVs (56%), smartphones (56%), and tablets (48%) are being used to stream original digital video more than twice as often as two years ago, while computer viewing of original digital video (72%) remains steady.
  • Two-thirds (65%) of those who stream original digital video to connected TVs say they typically watch during primetime (8 to 11 p.m.) and half (53%) report they are doing so more than they did a year ago, largely driven by more (and more interesting) content along with ease of use of connected TVs.
  • While word of mouth (53%) comes first in the discovery of original digital video content, social media sites are playing a larger role – approaching twice that of two years ago (42% vs. 24% in 2013).
  • Likes and follows by regular original digital video viewers on Facebook and Twitter increased to 24% vs. 14% last year.
  • Fifty-five percent of regular viewers of made-for-digital video programming say they have greater social media interactions than they do during traditional TV – even when it comes to primetime TV fare (39%).

Sherrill Mane, SVP, Research, Analytics and Measurement, IAB, said brands and media buyers need to be aware not only of the growth in popularity of original digital video, but also recognize the variety of screens where this content is consumed.

Earlier IAB research showed that connected TVs are gaining ground, and this study independently substantiates those findings and shows that those who enjoy made-for-digital content are watching that programming more and more by streaming to traditional television sets,” Mane said in a media release.

The 2015 survey was released during the second week of the Digital Content NewFronts, an annual marketplace, held in New York and managed by IAB, that connects brands and media buyers with the latest in made-for-digital video opportunities.

A separate global study by content delivery network Limelight Networks found the shift from traditional broadcast television to online video is being driven by millennials.

Millennials represent a benchmark, or “tipping point,” below which all subsequent generations will skew increasingly toward online video, states The State of Online Video report, unveiled May 6. The willingness to abandon traditional television, however, is also reflected across all age groups – only 10% of those surveyed said they would never cut the cord. It concludes an increasingly “tenuous” connection between cable companies and their subscribers is contributing to the popularity of online video.

With files by Jordan Pinto, Media in Canada

Follow @streamdaily for more #NewFronts2015 news and information.

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