OPA Study Shows People Watch Video Ads and React

From NCAA March Madness to that naughty homemade ad featuring the Burger King mascot, people are consuming more and more video online. A new report from The Online Publishers Association (OPA), conducted in partnership with Frank N. Magid Associates, analyzes online video usage, and reveals that online video ads have an effect on online and offline actions.

The study, “From Early Adoption to Common Practice: A Primer on Online Video Viewing,” shows that 69 percent of respondents have watched video online, 24 percent access video at least once a week, 46 percent do so at least once a month and 5 percent watch online video daily.

Sixty-six percent of those surveyed have viewed an online video ad, and nearly one-third, 31 percent, visited the advertiser’s Web site as a result. Fourteen percent requested more information about the product advertised, and 8 percent made a purchase after watching the ad. Web video ads also spurred offline action, inspiring 14 percent to visit a store to look at the product in-person.

This is indicative of “the continuing momentum of online driving offline,” observed OPA VP of Marketing and Membership Pam Horan.

While 22 percent of those surveyed said they’d be willing to view an online video ad lasting 10 seconds or fewer, 39 percent would view one of more than 30 seconds’ duration, and 17 percent expressed willingness to watch for over a minute. Horan sees this as a gauge to help advertisers best develop online video ads. “It’s not just a question of repurposing broadcast ads,” she commented, “but looking at the platform to determine what works best.”

Aimee Pamintuan, research director at online video ad firm Klipmart, said ad view rates usually depend on the content. “If the content is worth viewing, people will stick around to watch the video,” she said. The company finds that users watch 21 seconds of their 30 second video ads on average.

According to information Horan shared with ClickZ News that wasn’t included in the report, 29 percent of respondents said they were very or somewhat likely to watch a pre-roll video ad before viewing video content; 42 percent said they were very or somewhat unlikely to do so.

Online video viewers watched more streaming video than video downloads, according to OPA’s Horan. Although the largest percentage of study participants, 27 percent, watched news and current event video content at least once per week, most other Web video viewing fell into the entertainment or recreation category. Twenty-six percent viewed funny videos, 23 percent music videos, 24 percent watched movie clips and trailers, and 19 percent weather or entertainment news.

Though 48 percent of Web video watchers find video content by random surfing, 58 percent said they always go to between two and five sites to get video, and 29 percent always visit the same single site. Forty-two percent of respondents said they get to Web video by either clicking on an email link or using a search engine to track it down.

The OPA also detected the viral effect of video, finding that 38 percent of Web video watchers occasionally or frequently let others know about online video they’ve heard about. Forty-eight percent do so by emailing others the video Web address, and 44 percent by forwarding an email containing a link to the video.

“There are certain types of content that people will be willing to pay for,” suggested Horan, in reference to the OPA finding that 5 percent of respondents have paid for online video content other than adult content, and 35 percent have registered to access it. The study also revealed that 30 percent of users paid $11-20 for non-adult online videos in the past twelve months, and 27 percent have paid $31-50.

Viewing online video is more common at home: 39 percent of respondents with Internet access at home watched at least once each week compared to the 19 percent who do the same at work. “The continued penetration of broadband has certainly increased the home usage,” said Horan.

The OPA report found that 65 percent of “heavy” online video viewers are male with a mean age of 33. Fifty percent of heavy online video viewers and 52 percent of moderate viewers have middle socio-economic status.

The study, which sampled 1,241 U.S. Internet users aged 12 to 64, is the first study the OPA has conducted in which it surveyed a national audience; past OPA video usage studies were conducted across the trade group’s member sites only.

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