Engaged viewers are more valuable than non-engaged viewers

by Jason Preston on December 8, 2008

Video is on the rise. It’s a slow, yeast-like rise, that doesn’t draw much attention to itself and certainly isn’t going to bother anyone until all of a sudden we have bread.

A recent study conducted by Forrester called Watching the Web: How Online Video Engages Audeinces (here’s the press release) concludes that there is a growing audience for long-form web video—young influentials who watch more than one hour of online video per week.

Now to me, that doesn’t sound like much. I probably watch at least three hours of online video per week, but for the purposes of the study, one hour per week is the gateway to being an “engaged viewer.” And the difference between an engaged viewer and a non-engaged viewer is dramatic.

Engaged viewers, first of all, make up about 40% of all online video customers, and are responsible almost 75% of all web video consumption. These viewers are also twice as likely to recall in-video, pre-roll, and post-roll ads than non-engaged viewers.

Really now?

According to the Center for Media Research:

Steve Mitgang, CEO of Veoh Networks, opines “…online video viewing… will create many new opportunities for content providers and advertisers… advertisers (should) re-think their approaches to marketing… to captivate these valuable viewers as they drive online video into a mainstream entertainment medium.”
The study found that online video viewing For Engaged Viewers is not a fad but rather a growing consumer habit:

  • 61% of Engaged Viewers expect to spend significantly more time watching online video
  • 13- to 24-year-olds make up only 15% of the online population, but represent more than 35% of Engaged online video viewers
  • Engaged Viewers watch an average of 6 kinds of video content, from animation to TV shows to movie trailers, during the course of a month

The data is compelling—the more engaged your audience, the bigger the reward. In this case, an engaged audience seems to mean a certain age bracket or people who tend to watch online video.

But I’m willing to bet that the statistics on ad effectiveness apply towards other mediums as well. An engaged reader will probably remember a print ad more often than random passers by.

And since there is a clear benefit to having an engaged readership (higher CPMs, to be exact), it seems to me that news organizations ought to spend more time trying to cultivate community on their sites and in the real world, and they should work to develop or regain a strong sense of loyalty and personal interest among their readers.

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TPM sees dollars in online video » Nieman Journalism Lab » Pushing to the Future of Journalism
12.09.08 at 6:12 am

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