Digital NewFronts: IAB Report Says Online Video on the Rise

Online video has yet to match television in terms of viewership numbers, but it is gaining momentum. According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, which released its findings at this week’s Digital Content NewFronts in New York, professionally produced online video reaches approximately 45 million U.S. viewers each month (roughly 19 percent of adults). Nielsen indicates that more than 95 percent of the U.S. population watches TV.

The IAB report “distinguished viewing habits of original professional online video (which it dubs ‘OPOV’) from user-generated content and TV shows available via the Internet,” reports Variety. “It’s aimed at bolstering the rationale for the NewFronts, which mimic the TV upfronts: to persuade ad buyers to funnel their money into online video.”

In terms of ad receptiveness, the article notes, “about the same percentage of online viewers (65 percent) as HDTV viewers (63 percent) say ads ‘take away from my enjoyment’ of the content, according to the survey. But OPOV advertising trails TV on relevance, with just 22 percent of online video viewers saying ads are relevant vs. 45 percent of HDTV viewers.”

“The wealth of original professional digital programming being presented at the Digital Content NewFronts is evidence of the public’s hunger for new, compelling content available online,” said Randall Rothenberg, president and CEO of IAB. “It is a watershed moment.”

Additional findings from the study:
1) Laptops are the most commonly used device for viewing online professional video. They are followed by desktop PCs, Internet-connected TVs, smartphones and tablets.
2) About 89 percent of OPOV viewing takes place in the home.
3) Approximately 41 percent of OPOV and 56 percent of UGC viewers use social media when accessing online video, while only 35 percent of those watching TV programming online do the same.