Quarter of Americans watch OTT originals regularly

DetailsMichelle Clancy | 07 May 2015

A quarter (24%) of the American adult population, an audience of 59 million, is turning to original digital video programming at least once a month.

According to the 2015 Original Digital Video Study from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), this marks an uptick of 13% over last year's audience size of 52 million.

The survey also shows that original digital video has the distinct ability to attract the difficult-to-reach 18-34 year-old audience of cord-cutters/cord-nevers a growing group, now sized at 17 million.

Young cord-cutters/nevers are about twice as likely as other adults to view original digital video. 53% of cord-cutters and 63% of cord-nevers see this type of programming as "very" or "somewhat" important in their decision not to have pay-TV. In addition, cord-cutters/nevers are inclined to find the ads shown during this type of programming to be "more interesting" or "fun" (43%), and they are not alone a third (35%) of the general original digital viewing audience is in agreement about the likability of the ads on this sort of content.

Meanwhile, connected TVs (56%), smartphones (56%) and tablets (48%) are being used to stream original digital video more than twice as often as two years ago, while computer viewing of original digital video (72%) remains steady. Two-thirds (65%) of those who stream original digital video to connected TVs state that they typically watch during primetime (8-11pm) and half (53%) of them report they are doing so more than they did a year ago, largely driven by more (and more interesting) content along with ease of use of connected TVs.

"Original digital video programming is attracting a growing audience especially younger viewers 18-34 who are highly desirable to many advertisers," said Sherrill Mane, SVP of research, analytics and measurement at IAB. "Brands and media buyers need to be aware not only of the growth in popularity of original digital video, but also recognise the variety of screens where this content is consumed. Earlier IAB research showed that connected TVs are gaining ground, and this study independently substantiates those findings and shows that those who enjoy made-for-digital content are watching that programming more and more by streaming to traditional television sets."