Visibility IQ, a digital marketing agency, has published the results of a research study into the online viewing habits of web users aged between 15 and 64. The results provide brands with a compelling reason to invest in online video as it maps engagement, sharing and purchase behaviours involving video viewing and details a shift in video consumption from PC/desktop to smartphones/iPads/tablets.

The report, which was actually conducted by Entertainment Media Research, is based on completed interviews with over 2,600 UK respondents aged 15-64. Respondents participated in the research via online e-mail invitations and the fieldwork was conducted in July-September 2012.

Extensive consumption of online video

The research shows that 78% of UK adults who use the internet watch an online video every week. Personal interest and hobby videos are most popular, watched by more than half of internet users every week (54%). People also access videos for a variety of other reasons, for example to catch up on latest news stories (48% every week), watch music videos (45%) and Movie/Book Trailers (37%).

Within interest groups the viewing incidence rockets, for example although 32% of internet users watch videos related to gaming every week this figure increases to 48% amongst people who consider themselves to be ‘gamers’.

The most frequent viewers of online videos are males aged between 15 and 34 with 81% watching videos on a daily basis. This is closely followed by students, 78% of which consume videos daily. However, consumption is not merely restricted to these groups, for example 73% of females aged 15-24 in full-time employment are watching online videos every day.

Audience reach of brand-related video

Almost half (46%) of internet users also watch brand related videos every week.

  • 36% of internet users watch Product Demonstration videos on a weekly basis
  • Instructional videos are watched by one in five (20%) internet users each week
  • A third (33%) of internet users watch TV Commercials each week
  • More than one in five (22%) internet users watch Branded Entertainment videos every week

Women are avid viewers of brand-related content, for example four in ten mums with children under 16 are watching TV commercials online every week.

Online video is driving consumer purchasing

Of the people surveyed aged 15-64 who watch Product Demonstration videos, 96% cited purchase consideration as their primary motive and almost six in ten (57%) have gone on to purchase an item after seeing it in an online video, a figure that rises to seven in ten amongst males aged 15-34.

Consumers that have made a purchase are likely to have done this on more than one occasion – seven in ten (71%) have purchased items on two or more occasions over the last year after seeing videos promoting or demonstrating products/services. Over the last 12 months 40% of males aged 20-34 have bought at least 5 items after watching product videos.

Consumer interaction with brand related videos

The proliferation of video sharing sites and the ease with which content can be shared is a driving force behind the viral video phenomenon. Over half of those who watch brand-related content share it with friends who they consider might be interested thereby giving brands a cost effective and personal introduction.

People are not just sharing videos. Watching videos that are informative and/or entertaining often lead to a number of other positive activities such as visiting the brand website (54% always/sometimes do this) or writing a positive comment about the video (37%).

Sharing and recommending is mainly done by males 15-34 years old (75%), people in education (68%) and dads with children aged under 16 (64%). The main video discovery platforms are YouTube (67% of internet users use the site every week), Facebook (56%) and Google (52%).

Popularity of mobile devices for video consumption

People are now more likely to regularly watch videos using their smartphones, their tablets or their home TV instead of the conventional household PC or laptop. Since 2009 usage of the home PC/laptop to watch online videos every week has fallen from 72% to 66% of owners while usage of the smartphone has doubled from 31% to 66% of owners. 60% of Smart (i.e. Internet connected) TV (increasing from 15%) and 66% of tablet owners now use these devices to watch online videos weekly.