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Online Video Trends: Devices, Demographics, Audience Size

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American adults prefer original digital video content to news, sports and daytime programming on television, and they like it almost as much as they do primetime TV, according to a recent report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and GfK.

Some 22% of American adults now watch original digital video content each month, bringing the monthly audience size to 52 million—a 15% increase since 2013—the study found.

Watching original online video content is particularly popular with younger adults age 18-34 (39% do so) and males (25% do so).

Younger viewers and men are also more likely to watch other digital streaming video types, such as TV programs online and amateur videos.


Below, additional key findings from the report, which was based on data from a survey of 1,011 US adults (18+).

Average Time Spent

  • American adults watch 23 minutes of of online video per day on average, up significantly since 2010 (10 minutes), though down slightly from last year (24 minutes).
  • TV programs online are the most popular format (9 minutes per day on average), followed by online movies (7 minutes), nonprofessional video clips (4 minutes), and professional clips (3 minutes).

Viewing Times

  • Online video viewing peaks in the evening for all demographics.
  • Younger males (18-34) report watching more amateur videos during most of the day compared with younger females.
  • Viewing of TV programs online skews female from 9 PM to midnight.

Location and Devices

  • 87% of original online video viewers only watch content at home.
  • 46% of original online video viewers watch on their smartphones and 41% on their tablets, levels almost twice those of a year ago.
  • 48% use internet-connected TVs to watch original digital video.

About the research: The report was based on data from a survey fielded in March and April 2014. GfK screened over 2,300 American adults age 18+ to find individuals who watch online video at least once a month and then completed full interviews with 1,011.


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Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and the co-founder of Inbound ContentWorks, a marketing agency that specializes in content creation for businesses and brands. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. His past experience includes working for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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