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Ads in original digital perform

News, 12 May 2016

NEW YORK: More US consumers are becoming regular viewers of original digital video programming and they are more likely to report increased ad recall from this medium, new research has shown.

According to the IAB's 2016 Original Digital Video Study, a survey of more than 1,900 consumers, there are 63m regular viewers of such content in 2016, up from 45m in 2013.

They are attracted by viewing flexibility and exclusive, original content. The research also found 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."

The profile of these users is what might be expected: younger adults (18-34) generally are twice as likely as older adults (35+) to watch made-for-digital content, and this is especially true for men.

Less anticipated is a 9% rise in median household income among these users. And, the report said, across all devices today's viewers of original digital video prefer this type of content to all TV programming – even surpassing primetime television for the first time.

Advertisers will take particular note of the growing proportion of these viewers who remember ads in original digital video: half of younger males (18-34) said they remembered these more now than they did a year ago (31%). And the same was true to a lesser extent for the overall original digital video audience (38% vs. 29% a year ago).

Drilling down into a specific group of 18-34 year old cord-cutters/nevers, this group was inclined to find the ads shown during this type of programming to be "more interesting" or "fun" (49%).

The study also found that all cord-cutters/nevers were more likely than pay TV subscribers to stream video – 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.


Another reason, of course, is seeing fewer commercials. The Cordcutting.com blog has estimated that Netflix subscribers are spared 160 hours of commercials over the course of a year. 

Data sourced from IAB, Cordcutting.com; additional content by Warc staff