Today’s viewers of original digital video prefer that type of content over all other TV programming — including prime time, news, sports and daytime TV. Prior to this year, that audience said it liked made-for-digital programming more than every other kind of traditional TV programming, save for prime time TV. That’s one of the key takeaways of the “2016 Original Digital Video Study,” a survey of over 1,900 consumers released today by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).
At first in sounds impressive, but it’s a little like saying people who are always eating chocolate ice cream prefer it over all other types of ice cream. That’s one of the pitfalls of studies such as this that are commissioned by parties with a vested interest in the outcome.
The “2016 Original Digital Video Study” was released to coincide with the second and final week of the 2016 Digital Content NewFronts, the annual marketplace managed by IAB connecting brands and media buyers with made-for-digital video opportunities.
More significant was the study’s findings that viewers of original digital video programming have grown to 63 million in 2016 from 45 million in 2013, and that audience has grown more wealthy overall, with a 9% increase in annual median income over a year ago, from $59,600 to $76,000. Unsurprisingly, it also discovered that younger adults (18–34) are twice as likely as adults 35-plus to watch made-for-digital content.
The study was conducted for the IAB by market research firm GfK. From March 15–24, 2016, GfK screened over 1,900 persons age 18-plus to assess their online video habits. Full interviews were completed with 852 persons 18-plus who viewed online video at least once a month.
Original digital video was defined as professionally produced video exclusively for ad-supported online distribution and viewing (not TV). Those parameters encompass creators ranging from media companies (e.g., Wall Street Journal Live News) to YouTube channels from The Onion and PewDiePie. Those who only watch non-ad supported original digital video (e.g., Netflix and Amazon) were not included.
A supplemental sample of cord cutters/nevers was included in the study to enable analysis of a total of 150 age 18-plus users of original digital video who are also cord cutters/nevers.
Among 18 to 34-year-old cord-cutters/nevers, the study found that original digital video viewers who say they are more likely to remember ads shown alongside original digital video content has grown from 27% than to 48% year over year. Also, it found that 18–34 cord-cutters/nevers are inclined to find the ads shown during this type of programming to be “more interesting” or “fun” (49%), and a third (36%) of the general original digital viewing audience concurred.
“Considering these research findings, there is ample reason for advertisers to want to take advantage of original digital video,” said Anna Bager, SVP and GM of mobile and video for IAB, in a statement. “This growing format not only attracts a valuable young demographic, but also appeals to the notoriously hard-to-reach audience of cord-cutters/nevers. So, it is no wonder that marketers and media buyers are crowding NewFronts presentations to see the latest in premium original digital video programming.”