Young consumers watch online video nearly as much as TV, films in lockdown | Media Analysis | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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The latest Video Redefined study by Hub Entertainment Research, surveying lockdown viewing, has found younger viewers who are not only watching more online video but being more responsive to ads there than on traditional platforms.
Hub 8Jan2021
The 2020 Video Redefined study was conducted in December 2020 among 1,907 US consumers aged 13-74, who had broadband internet and watched at least 1 hour of TV per week. It tracked Americans’ online video habits, along with the impact online video has on viewing of traditional TV shows and movies.

Among the stand out findings of the study was that 13-24 year olds who watch online videos at least weekly estimated that they watched 11.4 hours of non-TV online video content – that is programming on the likes of YouTube, TikTok, Twitch, social media sites and apps but not SVOD - per week, nearly identical to the 11.8 hours they spent watching traditional TV content. By contrast, 25-34 year olds said they watched 7 hours more TV than online video per week. And for those 35 or older, TV hours are three times higher than online video hours.

In all, not only were young consumers watching more online video than older consumers, but they were also watching even more now than before the pandemic. Two thirds of 13-24 year olds say they’re watching more online video than they did before the Covid outbreak. Indeed, the pandemic was found to have had much less of an impact on online viewing among older consumers. Almost three-fifths said that they were watching the same amount, with fewer than a third watching more.

Unsurprisingly, YouTube was the top video platform across age groups. About three-quarters of all of those who watch any online video said they’d watched from YouTube in the past week. For 13-24 year olds, Instagram was a relatively close second to YouTube for online video, followed by Snapchat and TikTok. 
Notably, Facebook was not a top choice for video among young consumers: fewer than a third of 13-24 year old online video viewers said they’d watched videos on Facebook in the past seven days.
 For consumers over 35, Facebook was the clear second choice for online video after YouTube; no other platform came close.

Hub also found that products and brands have clearly benefited from young consumers’ affinity for online video.
 Two-thirds of 13-34 year olds who watched YouTube influencer videos specifically said they’ve seen products or brands featured on those videos. Among the over 35 consumers who also watch YouTube influencers, fewer than half were found to have noticed a product or brand during the videos.

Online video was generally meetings a very different viewer need than traditional TV content. When TV viewers were asked to describe their reasons for watching shows on TV networks or Netflix, their top response was to unwind and decompress. However, among YouTube influencer video viewers, their main reason for watching was to be informed or learn something new while the prime driver for watching TikTok video was a way to kill time.

“The rapid growth of platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok -  added to the continuing popularity of YouTube influencers -  has made online video a leisure-time force to be reckoned with among 13-24 year olds,” said Peter Fondulas, principal at Hub and co-author of the Video Redefined study. “Of course, that popularity has major implications for marketers, especially considering that young consumers are more likely to trust product endorsements from their favourite online video personalities than traditional advertising.”