Media

TV is moving online, and blue states are leading the charge

People living in states that tend to sway towards blue (Democratic) on the elections map watch 26% more online video than those in red states, according to Ooyala’s latest global video index report.

Ooyala is a video analytics startup that measures anonymized viewing habits of about 200 million unique viewers. It’s latest quarterly report compared the total number of video plays and to each state’s population.

States with cities that feature densely packed populations tend to watch more videos via mobile devices, which makes sense considering that those areas have high-speed Internet coverage as well as people who’ve got more time to fidget with their phones and tablets while shuffling to the bus stops or subway stations. Ooyala’s report found this to be true internationally as well, with Japan netting the greatest number of people watching video via mobile devices. (The U.S. also lags behind the U.K., Singapore, China, and Canada when it comes to mobile video watching trends.)

This is true even among red-, Republican-leaning states. As Ooyala points out, viewers in Georgia watch four and a half times more online video than viewers in Mississippi. But Georgia has major metropolitan area Atlanta.

Ooyala’s report also showed some significant data regarding the convergence of watching long-form video content from television to web connected devices. Watching videos longer than 10 minutes via tablets increased 50 percent compared to the company’s previous quarterly report, while smartphones saw a 17 percent boost in long-form video plays.

As for PCs, Ooyala’s report found that 62 percent of all online video viewing came from content over 10 minutes in length. The number of long-form videos watched on game consoles, set-top boxes, and connected smart TVs also rose from 88 percent in the last quarter to 93 percent in the most recent quarterly report. Again, that’s not very surprising since the user interfaces for these devices are best for the “lean-back” viewing experience rather than for clicking through 50 hilarious and/or adorable kitty videos. You can also see why YouTube is so focused on ramping up premium content through its partner channels. The viewing habits suggest that people are hungry for longer videos.

In terms of viewer engagement, Ooyala found that people were more willing to sit through commercial interruptions (ads) when using a device that’s optimized for the “lean-back” experience. (See chart below.)

“Whether the content is one or 20 minutes long, the same general engagement patterns emerge across all devices. Tablet and connected TV viewers watch more than viewers who watch on other devices,” Ooyala writes in the report. “Armed with the right viewer engagement metrics, media companies can target certain devices in discrete ways to reach more viewers and drive more revenue from online video.”

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