New Research Shows Online Video Audience is Soaring

If anyone had any doubt about the importance of developing video content for clients, new research by Nielsen Online provides convincing data to erase any skepticism.  According to a study revealed at the Ad Tech Conference in San Francisco in late April, online destinations such as You Tube and Hulu have seen audience growth of over 300% since 2003, with time spent on video sites growing 2000% during that time frame.  Sites are not only increasing their unique visitors, but the streaming content per user and the amount of time watching video has grown tremendously over the past year.

As agencies struggle with fewer media outlets to service, the advent of becoming content providers delivering video content directly to consumers over social networks, is now an essential element to any client program. 

Public relations agencies for years have used production companies to develop video news releases, corporate video and satellite media tours.  The objective was placement on broadcast media outlets.  Now, with new restrictions placed on how affiliates accept and repurpose video supplied by outside outlets like public relations firms, the online world is now has to be the major vehicle for client video.

According to Promo Interactive’s Brian Quinton , in a  major entry in his blog on this study, not only is online video proving its worth but the research also shows how social networking is becoming an integral part of mobile use, growing at a rate of 260% in 2008 with over 12 million mobile subscribers now accessing their social networks via their mobile units.

 The trend is important, the report said, because “social networking has the potential to be a bridge category that draws even more subscribers into the mobile Web experience.”

And the appeal of that experience is growing stronger than ever, a separate Nielsen study finds. In a report released yesterday, the company’s mobile division found that the U.S. mobile Internet market increased 74% from February 2007 to February 2009, growing from 28.6 million users two years ago to 49.7 million at the beginning of this year.

While iPhone users constituted only 5.1 million unique users this past February, their behavior can serve as a good indicatin of what other mobile Web users will be doing soon, Nielsen found. If that’s true, look for much of that online video consumption to shift from PCs and laptops to handheld devices: iPhone users are currently six times as likely as the average mobile subscriber to watch video over their phones.

Tom Cosentino


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