5 key trends for short form video success

17/11/2016

More than half (52%) of 18-24 year olds prefer short-form video content for ads, but over half lose patience if the production quality of video is not good enough, according to new research.

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AOL’s ‘Short Form Video - A Consumer Perspective’ survey of over 1,000 consumers finds that video is now the primary source of news for Millennials

The 5 key trends are as follows:

• Growth & Viewing = viewing doubles with 18-34 year olds driving growth
• Sharing & Quality = quality rules, videos shared in person important to all ages
• Watching vs. Reading = news sites as important as social and streaming for video
• Value Exchange = consumers willing to engage with video ads if relevant
• Innovation = timing is everything, marketers need to get smart

AOL has released results of new research study exploring UK consumer viewing attitudes for short form digital video, finding that it has now become the primary news source for younger audiences. More than half (52%) of 18-24 year olds said that they prefer getting their news from short form videos than reading it.

The research found that the key for viewers to successful short form video above all else is quality, as over half (58%) said they lose patience if the production quality of video is not good enough. Additional quality indicators relevant to video advertising included brand fit, uniqueness of the content, and appropriate length.

Continuing on advertising around short form video, viewers revealed that they are more likely (54%) to watch an advert if it’s related to the destination content. Four in 10 consumers (41%) also said they would prefer brands to be featured in the video they are trying to watch rather than putting ads before it, challenging marketers to deliver innovative new video ad experiences and thoughtful brand integration.

Mark Melling, Senior Director of AOL Video, Europe, commented on the results: “That short form video is now the primary source of news for the under 24s shows just how important the medium has become. Consumers have also made it clear to advertisers; yes they are willing to be engaged with video, but the challenge is to make sure that the experiences being created are of a suitable quality and are aligned to the destination content they are trying to view.”

Defining short form video as digital video between 1-10 minutes in length, the resulting ‘Short Form Video - A Consumer Perspective’ highlights five key trends:

Growth & Viewing = viewing doubles with 18-34 year olds driving growth

● The volume of videos viewed by consumers increased over 12 months by more than 50 percent across all ages, with 25-34 year olds growth highest at 69 percent

● Average length of viewing per session was 26 minutes for 18-24 year olds, closely followed by 23 minutes for 25-34 year olds and down to 15 minutes for 45s and over

Sharing & Quality = quality rules, videos shared in person important to all ages

● Consumers said that sharing is a reflection of themselves and will share only the best content (63%) if it is sufficiently good.

● The most common reaction for sharing videos was to ‘Like’ (26%) content, however this was closely followed by sharing in person (23%) either by showing or telling friends

● Showing videos in person is more important to young people; 18-24 years olds are twice as likely (42%) to find videos this way than those aged 55 and above (19%)

Watching vs. Reading = news sites as important as social and streaming for video

● Video viewers three most popular sources for finding short form videos online are video streaming sites (59%), social media (53%) and news websites (50%)

● Of consumers that said they watched Huffington Post videos, some 56 percent said they watched them on social media whilst 50 percent watched directly on huffingtonpost.co.uk

Value Exchange = consumers willing to engage with video ads if relevant

● Almost two-thirds (63%) said they were prepared to see a brand advertised or involved with a video they are watching, if the content is interesting to watch

● Almost half (47%) said that if they are watching a video they like, they don’t mind if a brand is really prominent throughout the video

Innovation = timing is everything, marketers need to get smart

● Ad duration around short form video has a tipping point depending on destination content’s length, varying between 12-22 seconds of ads say viewers

● Consumers want innovation in video ads with 63% saying brands need to think of more interesting ways than adverts shown before (pre-roll) a short form video

“Whilst pre-roll remains an important and effective way to speak to target audiences, brands need to get smart about other ways they can tap into short form video,” added Melling. “Digital video is the most powerful medium for connecting advertisers with their consumers, but it’s still a maturing medium that’s going through major change. Insights such as these tell a clear story and help us to navigate a transforming industry, supporting advertisers to deliver short form video experiences that deliver maximum effectiveness in the face of changing behavior online.”

AOL commissioned Future Thinking to survey over 1,000 digital video viewers across the UK through a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods, aiming to better enable marketers to understand how consumers watch content, engage with brands, and what they expect from the value exchange for doing so. Qualitative interviews were conducted in Q3 2016 whilst the quantitative interviews were conducted online in Q4 2016.

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