Online Video: The Complete Picture

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About two weeks ago we asked the very pertinent question of whether online video is sustainable or not and whether you should be using the online video platform to market your content/products/services. But just looking at sustainability is not enough and so today we’re going to look at the demographics and viewing habits of the online video watchers and reach more conclusions about the medium.
There is no question about the popularity of online video and it’s abundantly clear that more and more people are spending a majority of their online time watching video content. By some measures, online video watching is even expected to reach 80% penetration by next year (as a percentage of internet users), and grow to almost 87% by 2011 (possibly a peak penetration level). But numbers and market penetration alone aren’t enough to convince us. Let’s look at the kind of content users are demanding the most.
As you can see there are some professional niches and some ‘other’ areas that we have to discount from the above statistics before we can continue. Television shows, cartoons, movies, and music videos are often illegally posted to video hosting and sharing sites and should probably be considered off-limits. Furthermore, areas like news/current events are not focused enough while others like weather are perhaps too rigidly focused and ultimately not a well-rounded audience to target. At the same time, content like user-generated videos, business and financial news, sports-related content and so on provide a well-focused audiences for marketers to target.
What this shows us is that online video, just like any other medium is not for everyone and that you shouldn’t dive in without looking at if and how your niche has embraced the medium, their engagement level, and potential return on investment (as covered before). At the same time, it can be great for content producers and marketers with very specific audiences in mind.

Cameron Olthuis

Cameron Olthuis

Cameron Olthuis

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