If you haven’t yet noticed, online video has really taken off this year and it has everything to do with the success of Apple’s video iPod. Once Apple introduced the product and announced that NBC would offer TV shows for download to the iPod at $1.99 a pop, the floodgates opened.
In January Apple CEO Steve Jobs revealed that more than the company had sold more than 8 million videos through iTunes between October 12 and December 31, 2005. Apple sold 14 million iPods in Q4 of 2005; that’s more in one quarter than in all the years before 2005 combined. They ended the calendar year with 32 million iPods sold.
Suddenly, it seems, video is everywhere online. New video sites have popped up and we’re looking anew at some online video veterans. The reason for this renassaince is two fold: We crossed the 50% threshold this year of American online broadband adoption and streaming video technology has gotten better. It just works. No more buffering or stuttering video; no more frozen frames; no more waiting; no more overly compressed pictures. By and large, online video works as you’d expect video to work and it looks good!
At video search engines such as YouTube, Revver and Singingfish, at such longstanding online video sites like IFILM and AtomFilms, and at Google, Yahoo, and MSN.com, visitors can watch streaming video and in some instances they can download video to their iPods or PSPs or grab code to paste the video into their blogs or web sites. At sites like YouTube and IFILM you can even upload your own video to share and Google and Revver even allows you to charge for downloads.
These sites are opening a distribution channel for a great deal of untapped creative potential and, in Google’s case, giving it a marketplace. Though, as this New York Times piece points out, the quality is sometimes spotty. Their sharing features are driving a new form of viral marketing.
Count me as a converted skeptic of the viability of video on the tiny screen. I couldn’t fathom that anyone would watch a feature-length film on such a tiny screen. Until I bought a Playstation Portable, that is, and watched one myself. The quality is nothing short of stunning.
If you have video assets in your organization, you should give serious thought to exploiting these new distribution channels.
Online Video Use & Demographics
The survey found that the 35 to 54 year old age group accounted for more than 45% of all online videos watched in August 2005. That age group is 12% more likely than the average Internet user to watch video online.
The survey also found:
- More than 100 million people use online digital media (either streams or downloads) in the United States in a month, representing nearly 60% of the American online population.
- Video use crosses all dayparts and demographics; the primtime and daytime dayparts are particularly strong.
- Nearly two-thirds of all American Internet users in August 2005 streamed audio or video through a portal and nearly 50% did so from an entertainment site.
- More than 17% of Amerrican Internet users streamed digital media from a music site.
- 15% streamed contnent from a retail site.
In October 2005, ComScore released results of their Media Metrix Online Video Ratings which they conducted in June 2005. In June, more than 94 million Americans (56% of the American online population). From April to June 2005, the average online American viewed 73 minutes of streaming video per month.
The June 2005 study also found:
- Male surfers account for 61% of all video streamers
- Men and women spend practically the same amount of time watching online video (72.4 minutes per month for men and 70.6 minutes for women).
- The 18-34 year old male American views 84 minutes of online video per month.
- For June 2005, the daytime daypart (10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) had the most streaming activity with 18 streams per viewer.
- The Late Night daypart (1 a.m. to 7 a.m.) was the second most active time of the day with 17 streams per viewer.
- The Late Fringe daypart (11 p.m. to 1 a.m. had 15 streams per viewer.
Online Video Sites
- Google Video – Video search engine
- Yahoo! Video – Video search engine
- MSN Video – Video search engine
- AOL Video – Video search engine
- Singingfish – Video search engine
- Truveo – Video search engine
- blinkx.tv – Video search engine
- YouTube – Video sharing site
- Revver – Video sharing site
- Vimeo – Video sharing site
- Ourmedia – Video sharing site
- Stupidvideos.com – Video sharing site
- Video Bomb – Video sharing site
- IFILM – Indie film site
- AtomFilms – Indie film site