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Hunger for Online Content Remains Undiminished

Online video’s ever-growing popularity brings it closer to mass-market status

Consumers have demonstrated a voracious appetite for online content that shows no signs of abating. In November 2011, research firm JZ Analytics conducted a survey of US internet users for semiconductor manufacturer Broadcom and found that nearly 87% of respondents consumed 11 hours or more of online content per week at their workplaces or homes, whether surfing the internet, watching online video or checking email.

Further, 54% of those polled said they consumed at least 21 hours of digital content in a given week.

Digital content consumption levels were lower for consumers on the go who used laptops, smartphones or tablets. From that group, only 31% of people said they consumed 11 or more hours of content, which makes sense given that they were likely accessing content on a smaller screen.

The immediacy and ease of streaming services continue to draw users in search of online video. According to the survey, 58% of respondents said they watched online videos on web-based streaming services that hosted user-generated content, such as YouTube. And more than one-third of respondents said they watched content on full-episode player sites, such as Hulu or Netflix.

Broadcom also found that the majority of respondents watched videos online—in fact, more than two-thirds of those polled said they watched at least one online video a day. And about one-quarter of respondents said they watched three or more videos a day. Online video’s continuing popularity and increasing penetration reflects its emerging status as a mass-market medium, presenting new opportunities for brands to reach consumers.

eMarketer estimates spending on online video advertising—much of which supports the video content consumers are so hungry for—will reach $3.12 billion this year in the US, up 54.7% over 2011. Online video is the fastest-growing online ad format in the country, albeit from a comparatively small base.

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Check out today’s other articles, “Mobile Wallets Have Uphill Climb to Consumer Acceptance” and “Ad Spending in the Middle East Poised for Recovery.”

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