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Original Digital Video Programming Audience Grows to 63 Million & Median Income Increases As Well, According to IAB Study

They Prefer Made-for-Digital Content to Primetime, News, Sports & Daytime TV Programming

Viewers Report That Ads In Original Digital Video Are More Memorable Than a Year Ago, Especially with Males 18-34 & Cord-Cutters/Nevers

NEW YORK, NY (May 11, 2016) — Regular viewers of original digital video programming have grown to 63 million in 2016 from 45 million in 2013, according to the “2016 Original Digital Video Study,” a comprehensive survey of over 1,900 consumers from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). This audience has seen a significant increase in median household income (9%) over a year ago. In addition, younger adults (18-34) are twice as likely as adults 35+ to watch this type of made-for-digital content, with males in the age group leading the way. The research, produced by GfK as an update to the IAB annual original digital video study, also shows that across all viewing devices today’s viewers of original digital video decidedly prefer this type of content to all TV programming—even surpassing primetime television for the first time.

The 2016 IAB Original Digital Video Study focuses only on the specific audience of consumers who view original digital video at least once per month in the U.S.

The study’s findings do not represent the total universe of digital video and television programming viewers.

The study was released during the second week of the 2016 Digital Content NewFronts, an annual marketplace managed by IAB that connects brands and media buyers with the latest in made-for-digital video opportunities. It shows that half of younger males (18-34) say they tend to remember ads in original digital video more than they did a year ago (31%). The same holds true for a greater percentage of the overall original digital video audience (38% vs. 29% a year ago).

Specifically, among 18-34 year old cord-cutters/nevers, a larger number of original digital video viewers also say they are more likely to remember ads shown alongside original digital video content (48%) than a year ago (27%). Moreover, 18-34 cord-cutters/nevers are inclined to find the ads shown during this type of programming to be “more interesting” or “fun” (49%), and they are not alone – a third (36%) of the general original digital viewing audience is in agreement about the likability of the ads shown within this sort of content.

Cord-cutters/nevers across the board are more prone than pay TV subscribers to stream video overall – especially original digital video and TV programming available online. More than half of cord-cutters/nevers say original digital video was an important reason for cancelling or not having pay TV.

“Considering these research findings, there is ample reason for advertisers to want to take advantage of original digital video,” said Anna Bager, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Mobile and Video, IAB. “This growing format not only attracts a valuable young demographic, but also appeals to the notoriously hard-to-reach audience of cord-cutters/nevers. So, it is no wonder that marketers and media buyers are crowding NewFronts presentations to see the latest in premium original digital video programming.”

The top reasons consumers cited for watching made-for-digital video programming are viewing flexibility and exclusive, original content. In addition, positive perceptions of original digital video remain strong and steady year-over-year compared to regular TV, with consumers associating the format with attributes like “innovative,” “younger,” “for anywhere,” “unique,” and “new.”

To download the complete “2016 Original Digital Video Study,” please visit

The 2016 Original Digital Video Study was fielded in March 15-24, 2016. GfK screened over 1,900 persons age 18+ for viewing of online video; full interviews were completed with 852 persons 18+ who viewed online video at least once a month. Additionally, an augment sample of cord cutters/nevers was included to enable analysis of a total of 150 age 18+, monthly+ users of original digital video who are also cord cutters/nevers. 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 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 develops technical standards and best practices and fields critical research on interactive advertising, while also educating brands, agencies, and the wider business community on the importance of digital marketing. The organization is committed to professional development and elevating the knowledge, skills, expertise, and diversity of the workforce across the industry. Through the work of its public policy office in Washington, D.C., the IAB advocates for its members and promotes the value of the interactive advertising industry to legislators and policymakers. Founded in 1996, the IAB is headquartered in New York City and has a West Coast office in San Francisco.

IAB Media Contact
Laura Goldberg
[email protected]