Total Digital Video Viewership Is Way Up (Study)

/ Oct 21, 2014

British guy watching YouTube

Viewership for both online video and online TV is rising dramatically, according to new data released by Adobe — on the same day it announced a “digital content ratings” partnership with Nielsen.

Adobe Q2 2014 Video Data -- 1According to Adobe, US viewers started 38.2 billion “online videos” in Q2 2014, an increase of 47.3% when compared to the same time period last year. Even more stark was the growth in online TV viewership, which spiked 388% versus Q3 of 2013.

Adobe differentiates online video and online TV by designating the former as all free-to-access video content online, and the latter as videos (primarily TV episodes) that require cable or satellite authentication.

The data from the report is based on viewership across sites and apps using Adobe Analytics and Adobe Primetime. The sample size covers 165 billion online video starts and 1.53 billion online TV authentications during 2013 and 2014, said Adobe.

Among the other findings:

People are watching more online videos on smartphones than on tablets: Smartphones accounted for 13.6% of online video starts in Q2 2014; tablets accounted for 13%. (This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, considering how other reports indicate that tablets are increasingly being used to watch TV and other long-form content.)

Adobe US Video Data Q2 2014 -- 2

Ad views are growing, too — led by sports: Viewers watched 2.08 ads per video start, up 25.8% versus last year. The ratio of ad starts per video start was 66% higher for sports content versus non sports content.

Adobe US Video Data Q2 2014 -- 3

Unsurprisingly, online videos are more likely to be completed on desktops versus mobile devices: An online video that reaches 25% completion on a desktop was three times more likely to reach 75% completion, when compared to a mobile device. What’s more, only 16.6% of online videos watched on mobile devices reached 75% completion.

Adobe US Online Video Q2 2014 -- 4

Gaming consoles and over-the-top devices are the new desktops for watching your favorite TV shows: These devices have a share growth of 194% compared to last year. Comparatively, browser-based access dropped 41% year over year.


Online TV viewing is still dominated by live sports: Peak viewing of online TV content happened in months that held a major sporting event such as the Olympics, March Madness, or the recent FIFA World Cup.


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