Original, digital content is gaining on its cable counterparts. According to IAB research, about one in four (24%) US adults watch the former at least once a month, which marks a 13% increase from the year before.
The IAB’s “2015 Original Digital Video Study” overall shows how much original online video influences cord-cutters/nevers in terms of pay TV. These viewers are roughly twice as likely to watch original digital content as other US adults, and while 53% of cord-cutters considered this content “very” or “somewhat” important to their decision not to have pay TV, 65% of cord-nevers felt the same way.
This sentiment comes with more viewing on connected devices than ever before in the US. Viewers are watching video on connected TVs, tablets, and smartphones about twice as much as they were two years ago, with connected TVs becoming increasingly popular.
Perhaps most significant, 65% if these viewers were tuning into digital content during TV’s primetime, between 8pm and 11pm. A majority of those in the IAB’s study say this is happening because the quality of digital programming has gone up.
Part of the increase in original digital content viewing could also be due to social media. Not only is social media a common way to find out about online shows (42% noted that as their discovery method), but it’s also a place where fans can interact with them. Fifty-five percent of regular viewers of native digital shows say that they interact more with these shows than they do with the ones they watch on good, old TV.
Online video ads seem to be getting better, too…in the eyes of certain viewers, at least. Many cord-cutters/nevers have noted a preference for ads on digital over TV commercials (although you have to ask what TV commercials they’re comparing the digital ads to, if they don’t get “traditional” TV). In the cordless demographic, 43% find ads on digital “more fun,” and 35% of online video viewers in general agree.
The IAB’s study was conducted with market research institute GfK between April 7 and 14, 2015. It included over 1,900 US participants, ages 18 and up, with 856 who regularly watch online video undergoing interviews.