Streaming Time Outgrowing Audience Size

November 21, 2011

nielsen-streaming-v-streamers1.jpgThe amount of time spent streaming videos online has more than doubled since 2008, though its 9% year-over-year growth from 2010 to 2011 is more subdued than the previous 2 years, according to November analysis from Nielsen. Data from the analysis indicates that time spent watching videos online is growing at a much faster rate than the number of video viewers, which has risen slightly more than 25% since 2008, including 4% in the past year. Total streams, meanwhile, have also grown at a faster rate than the number of viewers, though at a lesser rate than the total amount of time spent.

18-34-Year-Olds Watch Most

During August 2011, viewers aged 18-34, who made up 27% of the online viewing population, accounted for nearly 40% of total streaming time, led by males of that age, who contributed 23% of the total. Video viewers aged 35-49 also accounted for 27% of the viewing population, but spent less time watching videos, accounting for only 26% of the total time spent streaming. While viewers over the age of 50 represented the largest segment of the online video population, at almost one-third, they only accounted for about one-fifth of the total time spent.

Meanwhile, according to [pdf] a study released in November by Burst Media, while 7 in 10 web users overall watch online video content in a typical week, those aged 18-34 (79.2%) are more likely than 35-54 year-olds (71.7%) and those aged 55 or older (53.8%) to watch online video content. Like Nielsen, Burst Media found men aged 18-34 to be the heaviest consumers of online video content: according to the Burst Media report, 1 in 5 men of that age consumer 10 or more hours of video per week. The oldest segment in the study – respondents 65 years and older – were also found to be relatively heavy consumers, with 13.4% consuming 10 or more hours per week of online video content.

7 in 10 Watch Less Than 1 Hour Per Day

Results from the Burst Media report indicate that of the web users that watch online video content in a typical week, 39% spend between 1 and 5 hours doing so. Roughly one-third spend less than hour, while 12.8% watch between 6 and 10 hours and 1 in 10 watch more than 10 hours on a weekly basis. Meanwhile, 29.9% of online video viewers say they would watch more content if the quality were higher, while 26.4% would watch more if their access were more flexible.

2 in 5 Watch Full-Length Programming

39.1% of video viewers responding to the Burst Media survey said they typically watch full-length TV shows, movies and/or sporting events. 1 in 4 watch news, sports, and entertainment highlights of regular TV programming, while half say they typically watch user-generated content on channels such as YouTube. According to a November survey from Ooyala, videos 10 minutes or longer accounted for 56% of the TV content played on tablets and 84% of the TV content played on connected TV devices and game consoles.

Viewers Take Action

burst-media-video-actions.jpg18.2% of all online viewers said they have taken an action – such as visiting an advertiser’s website or making a purchase – based on what they saw within an online video advertisement, led by? viewers aged 35-54 (23.1%). In fact, although viewers aged 18-34 are the heaviest consumers of online video content, respondents aged 35-54 or 55 or older are more likely to act on video ads. Of those older segments, men are slightly more likely than women to take action: 24.1% men aged 35-54 said they have taken action, as have 26.3% of men aged 55 or older, compared to 22.1% and 19.1% of women respectively.

Other Findings

  • Comedy is the most popular video content category with men and women: 38.8% of all viewers typically watch comedy videos online. News (33.3%) and music (31.2%) follow closely as popular video types for both genders.
  • Women are more likely than men to typically watch educational online video (31.2% vs. 24.5%), drama (24.7% vs. 13.9%) and celebrity news/gossp (15.1% vs. 5.2%). Conversely, men are more likely to watch sports (31.2% vs. 8.2%), animation/cartoons (22% vs. 11.3%) and political video content (20.8% vs. 11.9%)

About the Data: Burst Media surveyed 1,025 U.S. online adults aged 18 or older in October 2011.

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