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Global study reveals massive increase in online video viewing

Online video consumption around the world is increasing rapidly with the average global viewer watching video over the Internet for five hours and 45 minutes each week and subscribing to one or more video on-demand services.

And the proliferation of online video viewing worldwide is being led by millennials with research revealing these younger viewers are watching the most online video

That’s according to the latest “State of Online Video” research report from digital content delivery vendor Limelight Networks which says the increasing shift to online viewing video is a global trend with viewers in India, Singapore, and the US spending the most time watching online videos, averaging seven hours, seven minutes; six hours, 37 minutes; and six hours, 35 minutes per week, respectively.

“With the proliferation of online video content, viewers are moving away from traditional broadcast television viewing and have increasing expectations for broadcast-quality experiences,” said Michael Milligan, senior director at Limelight Networks.

“Our research over time has shown a clear increase in expectations and decreasing patience with poor quality experiences.”

Limelight reports on additional insight from the research including:

  • Millennials watch the most online video. Younger people watch the most online video, with viewers 18-25 averaging seven hours,18 minutes per week and people 26-35 watching six hours, 53 minutes per week. Viewers 60 and older only watch three hours, 46 minutes per week.
  • The growth of eSports. Although traditional sports programming was the third most watched type of online video content by men, males 18-25 watch more eSports and online video gaming than traditional sports programming.
  • Consumers won’t waste time on a poor experience. Rebuffering (when a video pauses during playback to load more content) is the top frustration when viewing videos online – surpassing poor video quality and limited device access. If a video rebuffers twice, more than 61% of viewers will stop watching. Only 15% will continue watching after rebuffering happens for a third time.
  • Smartphones gain popularity for viewing. Although computers and are the primary online video viewing device globally, smartphones are the preferred device in India and South Korea. Smartphones are also the preferred device for millennials.
  • Cable subscribers keep the cord and go further over-the-top. Despite cord-cutting concerns, the report uncovered that people subscribing to cable have twice as many over-the-top subscription services than those without cable.
  • The US and India lead subscriptions to online video streaming services. Consumers globally are signing on to streaming with 30% of viewers noting they subscribe to two or more services. Subscription rates are highest in the US and India, where 50.8% and 46.8%, respectively, subscribe to two or more services. In comparison, only 16.7% of respondents in France subscribe to two or more services.
  • Movies and TV shows lead online viewing. Globally, viewers spend more time online watching movies than any other type of content. However, viewers in South Korea and the UK watch TV shows most often. When viewed by gender, men prefer movies, while women prefer TV shows.

The “State of Online Video” report is based on a survey of 4000 consumers ranging in age, gender, and education in France, Germany, India, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, the UK, and the US.

To access Limelight's complete “State of Online Video” report click here.


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).


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