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New View on Digital Video

Apr 9, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Digital viewing hasn’t become a threat to more traditional ways of watching television programming, according to a new study by OTX Research.
“What we’re seeing is that the effect of video being offered on alternative devices—primarily the PC, but there’s also expansions in the mobile space—is really incremental,” said Patrick Moriarty, senior VP of product solutions at OTX Research. “In essence, those who are actively consuming video now via television are also the ones that go online and watch video clips or movies or what have you, and it’s not necessarily putting a dent into their typical TV activities. It’s more likely extending the amount of video that they actually watch in a given day.”
Mr. Moriarty will be presenting the results of OTX’s Longitudinal Media Experience Study this week at the Carat Exchange in Chicago. The study is designed to mesh tracking of daily consumer usage of media as well as a “media attitudes and aspirations study.”
“We ask people to indicate their past-day behavior in a diary format, so we get a finer level of precision than if you just asked somebody how many hours they watched television yesterday,” Mr. Moriarty said.
With the attitudinal survey, “We can link behaviors with their general attitude about media as well as aspirations for the future,” he said. “We can go in and evaluate if people who watched five hours of television yesterday are the most likely to adopt video in new formats, or least likely to adopt video in new formats, and try to understand the context that exists in the marketplace.”
OTX is looking to syndicate this study, based on surveys conducted in November. It plans to go back out into the field again this month and conduct another wave in October, maintaining a twice–yearly frequency. OTX conducted a similar study for MTV Networks in 2005 and is using that study for comparison with the data it’s pulling in now.
OTX’s new study found 91% of online video viewing was being done by 22% of the population. And while it expects online video growth, “it won’t be as exuberant as is sometimes reported,” Mr. Moriarty said.
The research also found that of those watching TV on the PC, 41% do so to catch up on television shows they missed on-air.
Consumer-generated content, seen as a big factor in online video viewing, is likely to take a back seat to more professionally made fare.
“As critical mass moves into the online video marketplace, their tastes are gong to be primarily driven by professionally produced video,” Mr. Moriarty said. “Ultimately what’s going to happen in the marketplace is that key aggregators are going to be the big winners.”
OTX has divided digital media consumers into five segments.
– Tech Elites, who are the first adopters of new technology;
– iPod Generation, who are somewhat tech-savvy, younger, and feel that music defines them;
– Homebound, consumers who enjoy having the TV on while doing other things;
– Emerging Mainstream, the largest segment, consisting of people who use mobile phones to stay connected and who consume the least amount of digital video online, though they employ video-on-demand services;
– Tech Rejecters, who only want basics in mobile technology and are uninterested in mobile and PC video.
The survey also found that consumers are less interested in payment-based services. Even when prices are low, they prefer ad-supported free content.
“For the most part, people are not averse to the notion of seeing advertising if it means their content’s going to be made available to them for free,” Mr. Moriarty said. “But if you’re basically putting two 30-second spots around a minute’s worth of content, that’s probably not a very good model.”

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