- Original digital video (ODV) is projected to reach 86 million Americans age 13 and older in 2018 and 72 million adults, according to a new study by the IAB whose findings were made available to Marketing Dive. Among U.S. adults, viewership of ODV, defined by the IAB as ad-supported, professionally produced and digitally-distributed video, increased 60% from 45 million in 2013 to 72 million in 2018.
- ODV viewers show a strong affinity for newer, direct-to-consumer brands like Away, Birchbox and Bonobos, a higher awareness of these brands than general video audiences and a greater likelihood of purchasing from them. "Incumbent Brands" such as Brooks Brothers, Maybelline and Samsonite have higher levels of awareness, familiarity, engagement and purchase intent across the entire digital video viewer landscape, however.
- ODV audiences tend to be younger, more diverse and tech-savvy: About 60% of them are 34 or younger, and 43% are non-white. About half of ODV viewers are "Brand Seekers," or consumers who are likely to seek out and be receptive to new brands. These consumers believe ads can be beneficial and fun. Top sources of ODV awareness include word-of-mouth, browsing websites and apps, social media posts or comments, search and TV ads. However, show reviews, print, radio and billboard ads highly influence content choice among viewers who are heavy users of these media for ODV content awareness.
The IAB's findings help to validate marketers' growing investment in digital video and specifically efforts that are tailored for the channel, such as short-form original programming and ad-supported original series. These trend lines underpin the growing desire among consumers and, increasingly, marketers for higher-quality, engaging online ad content that provides greater entertainment or informational value and isn't just passively scrolled through.
The increased viewership of ODV is also in line with consumers’ preference for shorter-form video. Among consumers, 38% think online ads should be shorter than TV ads, a Kantar Millward Brown study found. Consumers also want digital video to get to the point earlier and be riskier or edgier than TV ads.
Beyond pointing to the overall surge in popularity for OVD efforts, the IAB's study reinforces what types of brands are benefiting from these types of strategies, namely direct-to-consumer brands such as Away, Birchbox and Bonobos, which have disrupted categories like packaged goods, travel and more. The IAB in February released a report detailing how these newcomers, along with companies like Glossier, Casper and Warby Parker, are snapping up a larger share of growth from indirect incumbents that are not as agile in their supply chains and have more difficulty fostering two-way relationships with consumers.