According to the Limelight Network’s fourth semi-annual State of Online Video research report, which explores consumer perceptions and behaviors around digital content, millennials, and males are currently watching the most online video content.
After surveying consumers in the US and UK, Limelight Networks revealed that more than three-quarters watch online video at least once a week and that the adoption of online video varies dramatically in terms of age and gender. Whilst just over 50 percent of all consumers watch over two hours of online video content per week, 68 percent of millennials do so. And, in terms of gender, 58 percent of men watch at least two hours per week, whilst only 45 percent of women do.
Additionally, the research also shows that viewers have a preference for watching TV shows rather than other types of online content; although original YouTube content and movies were watched and enjoyed by the majority of respondents, respondents ranked TV shows as the type of content they watch most. This is true for all demographics with the exception of the over 60s, who prefer to watch original YouTube content and news.
The most important factor in deciding whether or not consumers will cut the cord is still price, with 41 percent claiming that increases in traditional cable TV would cause them to abandon their subscription (if they hadn’t already done so). Twenty-four percent said that they would cut the cord at a time when they were able to subscribe directly to the channels they want online. For millennial males, access to sport and live events was a major concern, with 20 percent saying that they would not cut the cord until more live content was available online. This figure was just eight percent for the general population.
The report also highlighted a difference between American and British viewers, with over 68 percent of US respondents claiming that they subscribe to a video on demand service (VOD) – and 38 percent saying they subscribed to more than one. In the UK, only 48 percent of consumers subscribe to a VOD service, and less than 16 percent subscribe to more than one. Additionally, US consumers were far more likely to use a streaming device (78 percent currently do so) compared UK consumers (where only 65 percent do).
Smartphones continue to grow in popularity as a streaming device in both the UK and US – although computers/laptops remain the most common viewing device in both countries. However, this gap is decreasing, and, for millennials, smartphones are already the primary device.
More than half of consumers felt that buffering and other streaming problems are the most frustrating problem with online video, and nearly half (48 percent) said that they would stop watching a video if buffers on the second attempt of watching it – this figure rose to 78 percent if buffering persists on the third time.
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