Don’t Be Afraid to Go Long

Online video viewing is evolving quickly, but not all areas are growing at the same speed. Online research firm eMarketer has found that while online video viewership grew by 11.3 percent from 2008 to 2009, viewership for long-form video increased at a much greater rate.

The report finds a few reasons why more people are streaming or downloading full-length TV shows and movies. The first is the rise of Hulu, the leading site for premium full-length video. It ranks second only to YouTube in the number of video streams viewed.

Second, more people are using Internet-enabled televisions, set-top boxes, and other connected devices to stream shows. U.S. shipments of connected TV devices should increate from 14.6 million in 2010 to 83.4 million in 2014. If the rumored upcoming revision of the Apple TV is a hit, TV streaming might finally become commonplace in America’s living rooms.

Demographics also explain the rise in long-form video. Younger people especially are comfortable watching programs online. eMarketer says online video viewing is highest with 18- to 24-year-olds. A study by Retrevo found that 29 percent of people under 25 watch all or most of their television programs online.

So don’t think that all Internet videos have to be short to succeed. While brief is likely a better choice for sales-related content, long-form entertainment programming is building in popularity online, and that means that the market for informational video content that’s longer than a few minutes is growing, too.


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  1. I think we have to be careful here to differentiate between watching full length movies and TV shows versus the willingess to watch other forms of content such as instructional or promotional videos.

    In other words, just because I would be willing to watch Avatar online doesn’t mean I’d be open to spending that much time watching a product video.

    Hollywood style TV programs and movies are their own niche and the lessons learned there don’t apply across the board.

    Posted by Steve Crow | July 2, 2010, 2:39 pm
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