Ads Fail to Appeal to Online Video Viewers

Second-screening is commonplace in the modern living room

71 per cent of European consumers see room for improvement in their on-demand and live viewing experiences, with more varied (35 per cent), relevant (32 per cent) and easier to find content (22 per cent) cited as the top changes needed.

The figures come from a report, A New View, produced by Vanson Bourne on behalf of Brightcove. Vanson Bourne questioned more than 4,000 consumers across Europe to unearth patterns in the way audiences watch digital content today.

The report highlight the rise in on-the-go and multi-screen viewing, with 33 per cent of respondents using smartphones and 34 per cent using tablets to watch video content. 41 per cent said they use more than one screen to view online content.

The report also reveals that online video content is now being consumed 24/7. While the evening (55 per cent) still dominates daytime (24 per cent), overnight (15 per cent) and morning (6 per cent) viewing are increasingly popular times of the day for catching up on the latest shows.

Respondents were realistic about the necessity of ads, with over four in ten saying they expect advertising if content is free. Another 12 per cent expressed the view that “there’s nothing wrong with ads” and some even said they enjoyed them. However, 39 per cent of viewers want ads to be shorter and 31 per cent want to be able to fast-forward through them, suggesting there is still work to be done in changing consumers’ perception of the value of advertising in supporting free content.

Digital Natives
The research groups the viewers of tomorrow into four distinct segments, characterised by their viewing habits, expectations and preferences. Digital Natives, who fall in the Generation Z demographic (post-Millennials) are highly connected and like to use multiple devices to view video content, sometimes at the same time. 67 per cent use their mobiles. Of all the segments, this group are the biggest ‘binge watchers’ at one third (33 per cent) and watch the most online/on-demand video content (or VOD) at 10 hours a week. 36 per cent of this group post on social networks talking about content they’ve seen, most often in the morning.

The second segment is Multi-screen Junkies, comprising Millennials who have grown up in the midst of a technological revolution. Of all the tribes, this group is most likely to buy products seen in video content. Nearly two thirds (60 per cent) of this group have a tendency to second screen whilst watching video content, and one in twenty use three screens. Of all the groups, this tribe are least loyal to live TV programmes, but most willing (31 per cent) to pay for premium channels.

The third segment is dubbed Telly Addicts. This part of the Generation X age group has a tendency to be highly educated and family orientated. Of all the groups, television was most important to their lives (55 per cent). This group watches less VOD content at seven hours a week and the majority (72 per cent) prefer to do so on their PC or laptop. Over half of this group schedule to watch entertainment, live sport or time-sensitive events like political elections or variety show finals.

The final group is Devoted Spectators, consisting mainly of Baby Boomers. This group are the keenest news watchers and will mainly watch programmes at home. 75 per cent of this group are loyal watchers of their favourite programmes, but watch the least digital video content of all the tribes at just five hours a week. Perhaps surprisingly, a fifth of this group use more than one screen at least some of the time when watching content.

“Despite all these evolving patterns in viewers’ expectations and preferences for digital television, across the board audiences are looking for relevant, varied and high-quality content that entertains or informs them, across platforms and screens,” said Anil Jain, ?senior vice president & general manager, media at Brightcove. “As broadcasters plan for their future, extra care should be taken to marry rich content with optimal delivery, discoverability and relevant advertising in relation to both the content and viewer. The more tailored the content is, the more accepting viewers are to advertising, which in turn helps broadcasters achieve business goals.”