The rise of original digital video is creating an incredible array of marketing opportunities that go beyond traditional campaigns to better resonate with consumers.
Recently, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) released a study on consumer usage of original digital video content. According to the report, about one in five American adults watch original digital video each month, up 15 percent from last year. In the words of the IAB, the "increasing popularity of Original Digital Video makes a case for greater inclusion of the medium in advertising campaigns."
Original digital video appeals to consumers in a number of ways. Compared with traditional TV, it's viewed as "innovative" and "edgy," the IAB says. Consumers also like the on-demand quality of the medium. They can watch when they want to watch, without having to wait a week for a new episode. While most original digital video is still viewed in the home, the increased role of mobile in consumers' lives boosts its perceived value as well. Mobile usage has nearly doubled in the past year, as has the number of consumers who watch original digital video when traveling.
As one might expect, the way in which original digital video is used differs from TV. The IAB found that, for most respondents, viewing was unplanned. More than 50 percent participated in social media related to the content while they were viewing (compared with 38 percent for primetime TV). Additionally, most viewers watch original digital video alone and in shorter durations than TV. As is the case with many forms of digital media, whether Vines or NBC News' "30 Seconds to Know" or NowThisNews on Instagram, shorter content is a good fit for busy consumers who can't commit to a full-length show or film. And forget the family room; the conversations surrounding this medium happen online.
In short, original digital video is "on track to be as important as TV."
This presents an interesting conundrum for brands. Previously, they found themselves up against a combination of traditional media and the Web. In the quest to obtain eyeballs, they were competing with other online activities like social media. But even before they could put up their dukes they had to get consumers away from TV.
Now that consumers are eschewing TV for digital content, brands needn't worry as much about having an audience to draw from. Instead, they find themselves up against digital behemoths like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and Microsoft. In order to secure a share of the original digital content viewership, marketers must produce videos that offer something these services don't.