Premium video surges across devices and platforms

Joseph O'Halloran ©RapidTVNews | 27-12-2011

New research from eMarketer has found that platforms used to watch premium video are gathering steam as the US online video ecosystem thrives and is poised for continued growth.
eMarketer expects the number of US online video viewers to reach nearly 170 million by the end of 2012 with much of this audience watching premium content. It expects the number of US adult internet users who watch TV shows online will rise by double-digit percentages in the next two years before growth slows to single digits in 2014. eMarketer also believes that nearly 60 million US adults will watch full-length feature films online at least once per month next year.
There has long been concerns that online video would be stymied by the lack of availability of compelling, most notably premium, content. Yet the new analysis fundamentally shows that audience levels, technology adoption and premium content availability are reinforcing each other in a positive feedback loop that will continue for at least the next four years.
eMarketer adds that emerging sites such as the music video channel VEVO are attracting top advertisers thanks to their ability to aggregate large numbers of viewers around premium content and that even services that it says have struggled in recent months—interestingly it adds Netflix and Hulu to this bracket—are maintaining market leadership and brand strength in their respective content areas.
“The convergence of audience growth, technology advances and content availability has provided marketers with a wealth of opportunities to attach brands to premium video,” said Paul Verna, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report, Premium Video: Audience, Devices and Content.
“This trend will continue in the coming years, but will be tempered by challenges, including piracy, a lack of standardisation in ad types and cost structures, and a tendency by program owners, device-makers and service providers to silo their content. From movies and full-length TV shows to sports streams and made-for-web programming, video is finding receptive audiences on all types of connected devices…Most of this content carries advertising, even when it lives behind a paywall, as is the case with live sports and TV subscription packages such as Hulu Plus. This gives marketers many options to participate in this ecosystem, ranging from standard video ads to branded content”