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The When and Where of Online Video Consumption

Posted on 9.02.2009

As online video continues to grow and users watch more video every day, it becomes important for every Web professional to know where all those videos are being watched and when. At ad:tech Chicago this week, a panel was conducted with a study from Interpret LLC, prepared for OVEC (the Online Video Engagement Consortium). There were several notable pieces of information, but a couple stood out and can be used to optimize your video campaigns right now.

The study surveyed 2.024 broadband Internet users ages 13-54 who had watched a video online in the past 24 hours and the interviews were conducted over the course of seven days to ensure every time period and day of the week were accounted for.

Online Video Consumption by Time of Day

A look at the graph below shows that videos are watched most often during two peak times - centered around mid-day and late at night. What's interesting to note is that even those who are employed full-time are watching video during the middle of the day (lunch breaks). Also, males increase their video consumption as the afternoon grows longer, while females decrease their viewing. Every demographic studied, however, shows a sharp increase in online viewing in the evening, with peaks coming late night.

So while there might be slight variations during certain hours of the day, it looks like the time to promote video online is in the middle of the day and later at night. Simple enough. Another recent study by Arbor Networks showed the same spike for late night video. Their research did not show the drop off around dinner time, but their definition of video also included Flash (games).


Where Are Users Finding Video?

What also stands out from the study is exactly where users are finding the videos they watch. Seventy percent of those surveyed watched an online video because they were referred to it. Of those, 40 percent found the video through search or a video portal. The next largest group found video through social media. Both of those numbers are significant. That means that your video needs to be optimized for search (titled with keywords and including keywords in the description and proper tagging), it needs to have a presence on the top video portals and it needs to be included on social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). This becomes even more important as more video floods the Internet and as social networks become more of a point of entry for online video.

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