New Digital Video Viewing Habits & Motivations Revealed by IAB Study to Help Advertisers Connect to a Relevant Audience

| May 20, 2019

How does your audience respond to digital video? Understanding viewing habits of consumers and how they watch digital video, and how these habits change based on what screen they are viewing, is critical.

Consumers today have handfuls of options when it comes to viewing digital content. There are big screen Smart TVs, there’s smartphones, tablets, laptop, and desktop computers.

With plenty of devices and other options available to help capture the attention of consumers all across the country, it’s important that advertisers understand the viewing habits of consumers watching digital video, and how these habits change based on what screen they are viewing.

Digital Video & Viewing Motivations

A new study from IAB called entitled “A Day in the Life of Video Viewers,” shows that consumers have different motivations depending on the screen they are viewing, which is a factor in their receptiveness to advertising. These motivations include:

  • – Relaxation: When viewers unwind at the end of the day or during free time
  • – Appointment: When viewers plan to watch a program, either alone or with others
  • – Spontaneous: When viewers watch with no agenda or catch up on viral videos
  • – Escapist: When viewers watch during breaks or while traveling to pass the time
  • – Educational: When viewers watch to learn a new skill or get help with a project
  • – Informative: When viewers watch the news and other content to get ready for the day

Among these mindsets, the study also found that 90 percent of participants are motivated by relaxation, 76 percent are motivated by planned viewing.

When are Viewers Paying the Most Attention?

From an advertiser’s standpoint, the best digital video strategy might include creating educational videos and instructional how-tos, as viewers pay close attention to this content type. In fact, 37 percent of viewers say they’re more open to ads when they see content-related video ads.”

Meanwhile, 40 percent of participants say they pay more attention to the ads that accompany educational videos. The study also found that audiences are highly receptive to ads viewed in the informative motivation mindset.

Devices and Mindsets

How do the devices we watch content on relate to our motivations and mindsets? The study found that:

  • – Connected TVs account for more than half of the viewers in the Relaxation and Appointment motivations
  • – Smartphones account for the majority of viewers in the spontaneous, escapist, and informational motivations
  • – Both desktop and laptops are viewed by a majority in educational motivation

The study also found that, surprisingly, consumers typically watch news and weather on a smartphone, and 41 percent of these viewers pay more attention to ads than any other motivation category.

Relevance is Key

In the age of smartphones and instant internet access, consumers have come to expect a personalized and relevant experience, whether it’s through TV broadcast or digital channels. For example, a viewer watching content on “How to make the Best Lasagna” would be receptive to an ad for a local grocery store. These types of ads are preferred by 56 percent of respondents.

Next, preferred by 36 percent of viewers, are ads related to the viewer’s behavior, such as seeing an ad for the shoes they were shopping for earlier. Finally, 35 percent prefer ads that are related to their mindset, such as seeing an ad for Starbucks as they get ready to start their day in the Informative mindset.

Consumers in the study also made it clear that they prefer shorter and skippable ads. This makes it all the more important for ads to be clear, concise and compelling in a very limited amount of time. For more on best practice tips on creating effective digital video, click here.  

About TEGNA Marketing Solutions

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Contact TEGNA Marketing Solutions today to find out how we can improve your marketing strategy.

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