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Digital video has taken flight in Ireland. According to March 2015 research by Nielsen for the Interactive Advertising Bureau Ireland (IAB Ireland), 67% of internet users ages 16 and older in Ireland had viewed video-on-demand (VOD) in the six months leading up to polling. Viewers skewed young, with respondents ages 16 to 44 accounting for more than two-thirds of the total. Usage was evenly split between males (49%) and females (51%).
Laptops were the most popular screens for VOD viewing, used by 67% of viewers. Despite their smaller screen size, smartphones—which eMarketer expects 3.0 million consumers of all ages in the country, or 60.5% of the population, to use this year—beat out tablets for second place, at 49% vs. 35%. Set-top TV boxes and desktops were each cited by around one-quarter of respondents, while smart TVs and game consoles didn’t break 20%. However, IAB Ireland reported that smart TV usage for VOD viewing was on the rise among viewers younger than 45. Fully 23% of those ages 16 to 24 used such a device, as did 21% of the 25-to-44 group.
Among those who had viewed VOD in the past six months, 67% watched for at least 1 hour a day. Free platforms were far and away the most popular for accessing such content, used by 83%. The percentage of respondents who used subscriptions came in at 44%, while peer-to-peer and pay-per-view options trailed by 25 percentage points or more. Interestingly, the study found that young adults were more open to paying for content, with 60% of 16- to 34-year-olds reporting using paid services. Digital TV Research Ltd. reported that 190,000 people in Ireland subscribed to Netflix as of September 2014, up from 150,000 in December 2013 and 80,000 in December 2012.
To save money, VOD viewers in the IAB Ireland study were willing to watch advertisements, with half saying they were very or somewhat happy to watch advertising in order to consume content for free. And they were likely to engage with brands after doing so. Among all VOD viewers who recalled encountering ads in or around such content, the most common action afterward was to search for the brand or product advertised on the internet, at nearly 30% of respondents. However, while viewers took plenty of action after seeing an ad, just 9% actually went on to buy the brand.
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