Frank N. Magid Associates, Inc., in conjunction with Metacafe, has released the results of a new online video survey, and you'll be happy to know that online video is still very popular, especially with young people.  Phew.  I was getting worried there.

But seriously, some of the findings are very interesting and worth discussion—you can read the full report here.  I'll break the major findings down into three categories:

Short-Form Vs. Long-Form

Short form video is still the dominant variety of online video, holding eight of the top ten video genre spots.  Here are the top ten in order, according to the survey:

  • Videos shot and uploaded by consumers to sites like YouTube
  • Music videos
  • Full-length TV Shows
  • Movie previews
  • News stories
  • Full-length movies
  • Clips of TV shows
  • Weather
  • Sports content
  • Comedy/Jokes/Bloopers

So short-form video still rules, but you can see that two of the top six spots are held by long-form content varieties.  So long-form online video is far from struggling.  In fact, a full 40% of those surveyed watch full-length TV shows and films.  They also found that professional short-form video is viewed by all age groups in large numbers, meaning it is very popular with all audiences.

Types Of Video Viewers

While professional short form video online appeals to all age groups, the survey also found that the overwhelming majority of online video viewers are still in the 18-24 age range, with 85% of males and 68% of females in that range now watching online video weekly.

Additionally, 18-34-year-olds are more likely than older viewers to find online video ads more acceptable than TV ads, meaning they're more tolerant of online video ads.

I have a hunch that advertisers are going to like this survey.  It shows that their favorite demographic (18-34) is watching more and more video, and it shows that they don't care as much about ads.  I should think this will spur some advertisers to spend even more on online video ads than ever before.

Total Online Video Consumption

The survey suggests that time spent watching online video is expected to grow by 5% over the next year, with a full half of Internet users now watching online video on a weekly basis (or even more frequently than that).  That's up from 43% last year.

Other Tidbits

  • Online video doesn't appear to affect people's appetite for regular TV, with 72% of respondents saying they watch the same amount of standard television as they used to before online video.  Interesting.
  • 31% of people who watch short-form professional video online think that it's more entertaining than full-length TV shows viewed on a television.
  • 38% of respondents are interested in the concept of connecting their PC and their TV to be able to view online video on their televisions—with males age 18-24 showing the most interest.


So what are we to take away from all this?  I guess we can say that more people than ever are watching online video—especially young people—and that short-form video is still the king.  But this is simply a survey of a couple thousand people, extrapolated out to speak for the whole of the population, and sponsored by a video-hosting site.  So maybe just a few grains of salt should be taken with these numbers.  But they're likely quite accurate, and seem to jive with similar recent reports from other metrics firms like comScore.

You probably aren't even reading this unless you already realize how important video has become.  But it always bears repeating:  Go where the people are… and the people are watching a ton of video, while becoming more tolerant of ads on those videos.  If you're a content producer or an online video advertiser, this report is probably reason to celebrate.  If you're an online video marketing professional, well… there isn't really anything here you didn't either already know or suspect, but it's always good to get confirmation.

  • Oded

    interesting point in this reaserch is that teen male see less online videos... it is suprising as we expect teen males to be the early adaptors. so the question is what are they doing?

  • TurnHere

    Great article Jeremy. 31% of people who watch short-form professional video online think that it’s more entertaining than full-length TV shows viewed on a television. Does that mean 69% don't find it more entertaining?

  • Tracy Ellen

    Love your writing style. It always makes me smile. Thanks for the information!

  • Ronnie Bincer

    Great article...In your summary you mention that this shows us "the people are watching a ton of video, while becoming more tolerant of ads on those videos." -- is there any data to back up your summary that they "are becoming more tolerant"? Or is this showing us that they are "tolerant" of the ads.. if they are becoming MORE tolerant, then that is a HUGE deal for advertisers.I looked at the report and find no data to support that they are becoming "More tolerant" but there is data to support the statement that they don't mind the ads - and that alone should be exciting for advertisers. (they do ask the question re. if online ads are "more Acceptable" than TV ads, but this is not giving us any indication if their answers have changed over time)
    Good info though... woof woof (2 woofs)

    • Jeremyphillipscott

      Video SEO Hound, I was referencing the comScore report from a few months ago, which suggested that consumers are more tolerant of ads than we previously thought. I should have included a link--my fault. You can see our write-up of those findings here:

      • Ronnie Bincer

        Thanks for the clarification... so much in your head, eh? I glanced at the referred link and I'm ready to let it go and run after a new shiny object now! or a .... SQUIRREL!!!

  • Angel McClinton

    Yay! I will still have a job in the morning! Thanks for this info. Great news to pass on to clients.

  • Becky Sangha – Film for Good

    Great article Jeremy! I am a video producer and online video marketing consultant, so I'm not surprised at your findings, and will be happy to pass along to my blog subscribers.