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BizReport : Social Marketing : January 31, 2007

Survey indicates YouTube users viewing less television

One minute online video sites and television are allies, the next, YouTube is a threat. Does anyone really know what effect YouTube will have on television viewing, and will the online audience tolerate advertising?

by Helen Leggatt

Despite recent articles and reports claiming YouTube isn’t stealing television’s share of eyeballs, a recent Harris Interactive study reflects a different story.

The December, 2006, poll of 2,309 U.S. adults, over the age of 18, found that 42 percent had watched a YouTube video, and 32 percent of regular YouTubers said, they watched less TV because of the site.

It’s not just television they’re shunning for the video-sharing site. Around two thirds say they are sacrificing time on other activities such as visiting other websites (36%), social networking and email (20%), work/homework (19%), playing video games (15%), watching DVDs (12%) and spending time with friends and family (12%).

With YouTube’s plan to integrate more pre-roll ads into video content, it will be interesting to see, how this affects usage of the site. YouTube’s appeal to an audience that is difficult to reach via television ads, 18-24 year old males, makes it a potential goldmine for a site struggling to find a revenue stream from their content.

But Harris’s survey shows that pre-roll ads aren’t popular with the majority of users. Almost three-quarters of those polled who frequently visited the site said, they use it a lot (31%) or a little (42%) less often as a result.

Perhaps television viewers looking to catch up with a missed episode would be more accepting of commercials within the online content. Aongus Burke, Senior Research Manager at Harris Interactive, thinks it depends on what type of content the user is seeking. “Indeed, we have seen in previous data that consumers as a rule are not averse to watching commercials online in order to catch an episode of a TV show they would otherwise miss,” he said, “Yet those who are accustomed to finding and watching everything for free at YouTube may have developed a very different set of expectations for the site.”

Additional statistics can be found on the Harris Interactive website.

Tags: 18-24 age group, Harris Interactive, online advertising, social networks, television, user-generated, video advertising, YouTube

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  • Les

    Who in the hell needs stupid mind-numbing television which forces you to watch what IT wants you to watch!? YouTube allows you to watch what YOU want to watch!



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