Original Online Programming Found to Be More Engaging Than Traditional TV Says Report - Generation Y Viewers Moving to Web

written by: Richard Kastelein

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Not surprisingly, YouTube, Next New Networks and Magid unveiled this week compelling numbers on the increase of  interactive dynamics with viewers of web original content over traditional TV, according to new research.

YouTube, Next New Networks and Frank N. Magid Associates, publisized findings recently from a combined study of online video viewership and behaviour. The study surveyed a broad range of viewers to measure how they engage with Web original content and how they view this content amidst other entertainment options.

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The value of Web original content

The research shows that viewers place considerable value on Web original content; 54 per cent of those surveyed who have watched Web original videos deem them to be just as, if not more, entertaining than what they view on traditional television.

While they consider online video entertaining, those surveyed regard this content as its own category and not directly comparable to what is available on television. They define these types of videos as original, having fewer boundaries, and adaptable to individual viewing schedules. Additional insights into the value of Web original content include:

* 60% watch Web original video content weekly;

* 58% see Web originals as providing quality entertainment whenever they want it;

* Over one quarter of viewers find Web original content to be more entertaining than traditional television.

Video engagemen

Viewers revealed a much higher level of engagement with Web original series due to online video's unique capabilities – particularly around social media via rating, sharing and commenting.

Specifically, viewers are 2.5 times more likely to be fully engaged in online video than their counterparts who watch traditional television programming and the research found additional evidence of viewer engagement: more than half read comments from other viewers, while 41 percent rated the videos they watch.

Web original viewers apparently pay more attention to this content than traditional TV viewers pay to their viewing medium and the research uncovered the number of viewers who spend time completing other tasks while watching Web originals vs. TV:

* Surf the Web: 37% Web original viewers vs. 60% TV viewers;

* Talk to Others: 28% Web original vs. 52% TV;

* Do things around the house: 19% Web original vs. 52% TV.

The social aspect

Online video is both social and viral in nature and three quarters of viewers said that they use email, social networking sites, or conversation, to tell others about their favourite Web originals. These findings underscore that viewers of Web originals are a valuable and engaged audience, which advertisers have yet to fully capture. Most Web original video viewers tell others about their favourite Web original video titles:

* 4 out of 10 viewers share the videos with others;

* Number of viewers who email the link: 37%; post to Facebook or MySpace: 36%; while those who share on Twitter: 10%.

Who is watching online video

According to recent Nielsen reports, the average age of television viewers is over the age of 50. However, this research revealed that Millenials or the 18-34 year old demographic of web original viewers constituted 65 per cent of the National sample, 73 per cent of the YouTube sample, and 90 per cent of Next New Networks' sample.

Not only does the coveted Generation Y, 18-34 demographic spend many hours viewing video online on a regular basis, but the research shows that this time spent with online video and Web original content is directing affecting linear TV hours watched. Web original video viewers spend 13 per cent less time with TV than non-viewers.

"We chose to work with Next New Networks not only because they are a leader in the Web original programming space but because they have an immensely loyal and dedicated audience," said Rick Silvestrini, Product Marketing Manager at YouTube. "The findings are an incredible point of validation for Web original programming as a key source of entertainment and viewers find it to be on par with television programming."

"Partnering with YouTube on this study was a great opportunity to bring to light that this is a medium that should be recognized in its own right," said Lance Podell, chairman of the board of directors of Next New Networks. "Advertisers are after a key audience demographic that now considers the Web to be their chief source of entertainment. Advertisers need to seize the opportunity to get in front of this captivated audience by committing more of their ad dollars to Web original content."

"We worked with Next New Networks and YouTube to conduct our first extensive study on Web original series," said Mike Vorhaus, managing director of Frank N. Magid Associates. "The study uncovered strong consumer appeal of Web original programming as compared to traditional television shows. The findings confirm what many have believed for some time now: there is incredible content and talent available on the Web and viewers are paying full attention and tuning in regularly."


To view the complete findings of this study please contact: Vanessa Pappas, Vice President of Audience & Strategic Partnerships, Next New Networks, at Vanessa (at) nextnewnetworks (dot) com.


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