Advertisers: Reach Timeshifted Viewers with Online Video

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Television advertising offers an unparalleled opportunity for marketers to connect with a mass target audience. However, marketers relying solely on TV advertising to reach their intended audience may soon find themselves inconvenienced as a growing number of viewers are shifting their viewing patterns to other devices, chiefly the internet, for the flexibility and convenience they offer.

eMarketer estimates 68.2% of all internet users and 50.5% of the total US population will watch online video this year.

According to Harris Poll and 24/7 Wall St., young adults are the most ambidextrous in their use of platforms for TV program viewing. Almost half (46%) of viewers ages 18 to 34 watch television shows on their computer.

What incites viewers to ditch the couch and big screen in favor of online video? Findings from YuMe and Frank N. Magid Associates’ co-sponsored report, “Online Video and Television Viewing Attitudes and Behaviors,” indicate the answer is, in a word: Convenience. Overall, respondents favored the flexibility and timeshifting capabilities of online video, which allowed them to keep up to date with shows by watching whenever they wanted.

August 2010 research from Morpace also highlighted viewer support for online video’s timeshifting capabilities, even more than common viewing formats like DVR. Fifty-one percent of respondents said they view at least some timeshifted video from an online source, compared to 41% who turn to their DVR. Data from Edison Research and Arbitron shows 64% of US consumers had broadband internet access in 2010, compared to 41% of consumers who owned a DVR, which may account for a higher propensity to turn to online video for timeshifted viewing.

This preference affords advertisers with timeshifting viewers on their radar an additional touchpoint through the use of online video ad placement. YuMe and Frank N. Magid Associates found respondents were 15 percentage points more likely to skip at least half of ads when watching recorded TV programs than when watching online TV.

One reason for skipping fewer ads online is the mandatory nature of many pre-rolls and other in-stream ads. In addition, the fact that online TV programs typically have a lighter ad load makes viewers more willing to watch commercials.

As TV program viewers actively turn to online video for the convenience it offers, advertisers should be equally active in their efforts to augment their traditional TV ad programs with online video advertising to capitalize on this sizeable and growing audience.

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