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One in Four U.S. Adults Watches Original Digital Video Programming at Least Once a Month, a Double-Digit Increase in Audience Size Year-Over-Year, According to IAB Research

Validates Made-for-Digital Video Content’s Power to Attract Hard-to-Reach 18-34 Year-Old Cord-Cutters/Nevers

Connected TVs & Smartphones Neck-and-Neck in Consumer Device Preference for Streaming Original Digital Video Programming

NEW YORK, NY (May 6, 2015) — A quarter (24%) of the American adult population, an audience of 59 million strong, is turning to original digital video programming at least once a month, according to the “2015 Original Digital Video Study” from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). This marks an uptick of 13 percent over last year’s audience size of 52 million. The in-depth survey of over 1,900 consumers, produced by GfK as an update to the IAB annual original digital video study, also shows that original digital video has the distinct ability to attract the difficult-to-reach 18-34 year-old audience of cord-cutters/cord-nevers – a growing group, now at 17 million.

Released during the second week of the 2015 Digital Content NewFronts, an annual marketplace managed by IAB that connects brands and media buyers with the latest in made-for-digital video opportunities, the report shows that young cord-cutters/nevers are about twice as likely as other adults to view original digital video. Fifty-three percent of cord-cutters and 63 percent of cord-nevers see this type of programming as “very” or “somewhat” important in their decision not to have pay TV. In addition, cord-cutters/nevers are inclined to find the ads shown during this type of programming to be “more interesting” or “fun” (43%), and they are not alone – a third (35%) of the general original digital viewing audience is in agreement about the likability of the ads on this sort of content.

Connected TVs (56%), smartphones (56%), and tablets (48%) are being used to stream original digital video more than twice as often as two years ago, while computer viewing of original digital video (72%) remains steady. Two-thirds (65%) of those who stream original digital video to connected TVs state that they typically watch during primetime (8-11pm) and half (53%) of them report they are doing so more than they did a year ago, largely driven by more (and more interesting) content along with ease of use of connected TVs.

“Original digital video programming is attracting a growing audience – especially younger viewers 18-34 who are highly desirable to many advertisers,” said Sherrill Mane, Senior Vice President, Research, Analytics and Measurement, IAB. “Brands and media buyers need to be aware not only of the growth in popularity of original digital video, but also recognize the variety of screens where this content is consumed. Earlier IAB research showed that connected TVs are gaining ground, and this study independently substantiates those findings and shows that those who enjoy made-for-digital content are watching that programming more and more by streaming to traditional television sets.”

While word of mouth (53%) comes first in the discovery of original digital video content, social media sites are playing a larger role – approaching twice that of two years ago (42% vs. 24% in 2013). Likes and follows by regular original digital video viewers on Facebook and Twitter increased 10 percentage points over last year (24% vs 14%). Fifty-five percent of regular viewers of made-for-digital video programming say they have greater social media interactions than they do during traditional TV – even when it comes to primetime TV fare (39%).

In line with last year’s survey findings, today’s viewers of original digital video clearly prefer that type of content to the news, sports and daytime programming found on TV, and like it almost as much as they do primetime television.

“The impressive number of advertisers and media buyers crowding into the various action-packed presentations at this year’s NewFronts is a testament to rapid growth of the original digital video audience,” said Anna Bager, Senior Vice President, Mobile and Video, IAB and General Manager of the IAB Digital Video and Mobile Marketing Centers of Excellence. “There is no question that this type of innovative, interactive content – ready to inform and entertain consumers anywhere at any time – is at the heart of a sea change across the media landscape. Viewers’ preferences and behaviors are shifting, and so too will advertising dollars.”

To download the complete “2015 Original Digital Video Study,” please visit here.

The 2015 Original Digital Video Study was fielded in April 7-14 2015. GfK screened over 1,900 persons age 18+ for viewing of online video; full interviews were completed with 856 persons 18+ who viewed online video at least once a month. GfK’s KnowledgePanelTM recruited using high quality, traditional probability sample techniques was used for the survey to ensure that the results were as representative and projectable to the U.S. population as possible.

About the IAB
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) empowers the media and marketing industries to thrive in the digital economy. It is comprised of more than 650 leading media and technology companies that are responsible for selling, delivering, and optimizing digital advertising or marketing campaigns. Together, they account for 86 percent of online advertising in the United States. Working with its member companies, the IAB evaluates and recommends standards and practices and fields critical research on interactive advertising. The organization is committed to professional development, elevating the knowledge, skills, and expertise of individuals across the digital marketing industry. The IAB also educates marketers, agencies, media companies and the wider business community about the value of interactive advertising. Founded in 1996, the IAB is headquartered in New York City.

IAB Media Contact
Laura Goldberg
[email protected]

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