We all love YouTube videos that are funny and a viral video can do huge business online. But it is time for film companies and TV to realise that the era of web videos is for life; not just for virals. More video content is uploaded to YouTube in a 60 day period than the three major U.S. television networks created in 60 years; so the web has plenty of content and now it seems it has the audience to go with it. Yahoo has found that not only are we watching more online videos, but we are watching them for longer. That fact alone is pretty fascinating but the pattern that emerged that shows the real influence and power of online video is when we look at what time online video is being watched. Take a look:
Graph sourced the Yahoo study
As you can see from the blue line we have a pretty clear correlation to online video and prime time viewing. So why are watching more online video now at prime time than we used too? Well a simple analysis that can be made is that people are simply just not going to watch the TV now because the web has it all. More people are streaming TV shows and movies from services like Netflix and Hulu, and they tend to watch those videos during the same time period they previously watched regular TV. While people may not yet be cord cutting, this data suggests that online watching does encroach upon regular cable and satellite TV watching.
Not surprisingly, this now means people are watching videos online for a lot longer; around '18 percent of online videos watched are full length TV shows, versus 11 percent two years ago. And 8 percent are full-length movies, up from 5 percent in 2009.' The Yahoo report found. With this in mind we ask the question is this the end of the viral and is it time for premium content to feature heavily in social media?
Some other interesting stats which may suggest viral videos will suffer from the premium content online is outlined below:
- A smaller percentage of people are sharing videos, 26 percent versus 34 percent in 2009. This may be due to older people watching online videos, and sharing less.
- Advertiser recall is better with ads on professionally produced videos (45 percent) than on videos - made by people like me (36 percent).
- Videos online are more likely to be watched when shown in the context of an article, with 57 percent of people saying they enjoy the video + article combo
Is it time for online video to grow up? Well the move in the market suggests so, but I don't think anyone should estimate the power of the viral video. Here is something to consider if you believe the viral may of had it's day -