SYDNEY: Online video adspend is set to rise rapidly in Australia, a trend driven by the changing habits of consumers in the country, a study has found.

The Video Network, the technology firm, and Frost & Sullivan, the research group, predicted expenditure levels on this medium should increase from A$54m in 2011 to A$311m by 2016.

It based these estimates on a recent "boom" in the amount of people watching such material, as the number of content items streamed rises from 2bn in 2007 to 11bn in 2011.

More specifically, Australian web users now enjoy an average of 10.2 hours of online video a month, although this still lags behind totals of around 17 hours recorded in both the UK and US.

At present, short form clips account for the majority of digital video accessed in Australia, but the report suggested the long form alternative would assume a leading position by 2013.

"As technology improves and the variety of content increases, Australia's video content viewing habits are changing rapidly with more of us choosing to watch television online," said Peter Ostick, co-managing director of The Video Network.

"While this sector is in its early days, internet TV is already reaching upwards of 12m viewers per month according to comScore statistics, which represents a huge potential for advertisers within this emerging market."

The study's figures included ads featured in official long form content provided by broadcasters across the web, as well as short form and consumer-generated material on all other platforms.

Data sourced from Frost & Sullivan; additional content by Warc staff