A fall 2008 survey of 5,500 U.S. Internet users suggests that almost two-thirds (62%) watch “online video” each week, making online video more popular than time-shifted television (38%). However, almost half (47%) who watch online video choose “short-form” video, so it’s not fair for my brain to compare that consumption pattern with DVRs. Only 15 percent watch “long-form” video online; 14 percent watch both.
But it sounds like Starz (the data source) is using a more encompassing definition of “online” than mine. Theirs appears to be everything that is not TV, which includes iPods, xBox, PS2 and Netflix streaming — as well as Current.tv and Hulu. So this universe is much larger than YouTube or GoogleVideo.
The Starz data suggest we’re still a nation of couch potatoes: 9-in-10 percent report watching live TV weekly. Although half watch DVDs weekly, the true nascent market is mobile, with 12 percent reporting weekly consumption. These data come from Will Richmond at VideoNuze, a broadband video news and analysis website.
The consumption area with the greatest gender divide was online video (66% male, 58% female). In other categories, the spread was 1-4 points.
Starz (or their market research firm, Synovate) has coined the term “televidualists” for the 18 percent who, at least once a week, watch full-length TV shows or movies through non-traditional channels such as xBox or AppleTV, a mobile phone, or an MP3/video player like an iPod. Demographically, this group is more likely to be younger and live in a larger household than the general U.S. population.
The “televidualist” is also more likely to watch video, period, than the rest of the U.S. population.
Back in September I probably would not have fit into this category. Today, I’m pretty close. I’ve watched a Netflix streamed “tv” show three times in the past four weeks. (OK, I’ve also had a cold.) But I bought the last season of Atlantis on iTunes, and watched some shows on my laptop and a few iPod-to-TV.
But I rarely watch live TV. The closest I come is this: I let the show buffer into DVR memory for at least a half hour before starting, so that I can skip the commercials. One exception to the skipping rule: the SuperBowl, which is worth watching primarily because of the commercials!
And unlike the 70 percent of the Starz survey sample who do not anticipate a change in their video viewing habits in the next five years, I am absolutely certain that mine will change. There will be more live streaming, via my MacMini or a PS3 or some yet-to-be-invented device. There will be (please) a DVR that is not Verizon’s or Tivo. (I really should check out the ReplayTV software.)
Characteristics of the person likely to watch long-form (I think) video nine or more times a week:
- male (56%)
- income ($70K)
- household size (mean, 3.2)
- ethnicity: white (73%), black (13%), other (10%), Asia/Pacific (3%)
Go to Will’s post and download the PDF with highlights from the survey.
Representative sample (4,000, 18+ years of age; 1,500, 12-17 years of age); September-October 2008. It’s not clear from the high level summary if “online” is also a shorthand for “alternative” channels like xBox, AppleTV and hand-held devices.