Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Friday, October 03, 2008

Online Video Viewing Doubles in One Year

According to an ABI Research market study of online households in the U.S., the number of consumers watching online video streamed through a browser has doubled over the past year -- going from 32 percent a year ago to 63 percent today.

ABI believes this is due to growth in the amount of rich content available in ad-supported format on portals and through social networks, as well as increasing demand from consumers for video in both short- and long-form online.

"Consumers are changing their online habits quickly," says research director Michael Wolf.

"Broadband speeds have continued to increase at the same time that Hollywood has decided online distribution is a legitimate revenue opportunity that will increase total return on their video assets, and expand audiences. At the same time, easy to use content creation tools are being put into the hands of consumers and this has effectively created new forms of communication and entertainment."

All forms of content are contributing to the rise of broadband video consumption, including that of long-form TV shows, and much of the longer-form content today is being watched by younger viewers.

When asked if they watched long-form content in the form of TV shows or movies online, nearly half of those under 25, and 53 percent of those aged 25-29 indicate they do so once a month or more.

Older viewers are much more likely to have experimented once with online shows -- three quarters of those over 65 who watch video online responded that they have never watched TV shows or movies online. I believe that will change over time, and age will not be a barrier to adoption.

"Today's younger consumers are developing habits that will mean drastic changes for the video entertainment market," said Wolf.

"Many consume a large percentage or even a majority of their video entertainment through online distribution today, and we believe that this trend will continue to accelerate as more efforts are made to put this content on various non-PC screens."