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Original online content audience grows to 63m

Regular viewers of original digital video programming have grown to 63 million in 2016 from 45 million in 2013, according to a survey from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). This audience has seen a significant increase in median household income (9 per cent) over a year ago. In addition, younger adults (18-34) are twice as likely as adults 35+ to watch this type of made-for-digital content, with males in the age group leading the way. The research, produced by GfK as an update to the IAB annual original digital video study, also shows that across all viewing devices today’s viewers of original digital video decidedly prefer this type of content to all TV programming—even surpassing primetime television for the first time.

The study was released during the second week of the 2016 Digital Content NewFronts, an annual marketplace managed by IAB that connects brands and media buyers with the latest in made-for-digital video opportunities. It shows that half of younger males (18-34) say they tend to remember ads in original digital video more than they did a year ago (31 per cent). The same holds true for a greater percentage of the overall original digital video audience (38 per cent vs. 29 per cent a year ago).

Specifically, among 18-34 year old cord-cutters/nevers, a larger number of original digital video viewers also say they are more likely to remember ads shown alongside original digital video content (48 per cent) than a year ago (27 per cent). Moreover, 18-34 cord-cutters/nevers are inclined to find the ads shown during this type of programming to be “more interesting” or “fun” (49 per cent), and they are not alone – a third (36 per cent) of the general original digital viewing audience is in agreement about the likability of the ads shown within this sort of content.

Cord-cutters/nevers across the board are more prone than pay TV subscribers to stream video overall – especially original digital video and TV programming available online. More than half of cord-cutters/nevers say original digital video was an important reason for cancelling or not having pay TV.

“Considering these research findings, there is ample reason for advertisers to want to take advantage of original digital video,” said Anna Bager, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Mobile and Video, IAB. “This growing format not only attracts a valuable young demographic, but also appeals to the notoriously hard-to-reach audience of cord-cutters/nevers. So, it is no wonder that marketers and media buyers are crowding NewFronts presentations to see the latest in premium original digital video programming.”

The top reasons consumers cited for watching made-for-digital video programming are viewing flexibility and exclusive, original content. In addition, positive perceptions of original digital video remain strong and steady year-over-year compared to regular TV, with consumers associating the format with attributes like “innovative,” “younger,” “for anywhere,” “unique,” and “new.”

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