The way we consume video content creates new challenges for advertisers

Few months ago, Sharethrough shared the results of a recent study of 750 individuals on their online video viewing habits. This study confirmed a significant evolution in the way we consume video content. This article further details the different phases of evolution in our consumption of video content, from the first to the third phase.

For advertisers, understanding the evolution of the way people consume video content is essential and allows them to implement advertising tactics tailored to the target, and therefore more efficient.

The first phase of video consumption
Since the onset of television advertising in 1941 and through most of the twentieth century, people watched and listened to television with their full attention, without other types of media attracting their attention. Thus, during this first “Wave of the video”, one can easily assume that the advertisements themselves also benefited from the full attention of the individuals.

The second phase of video consumption
Then, technology evolved towards the end of the 20th century: televisions all began to be equipped with a remote control, the use of video recorders, then DVD players became more democratic in homes, and the latter became more common. are also equipped with home computers.

But it is the growth of YouTube and other online video platforms that really triggered a major change in our behavior when watching a video. For the first time, we had access to video-on-demand content, and for the first time also we began to watch videos passively, while pursuing other tasks simultaneously: emails, chat tools. line such as Skype Where MSN Messenger, browsing websites on other tabs, etc. First of all, our attention was much more divided. Sometimes the television was also on in the background. The way we consume video content had indeed evolved, and would not go back. We were then in the second phase of the video.

The third phase of video consumption
The way we consume content has continued to keep pace with technological developments. And it is probably the arrival of smartphones in the 2000s that had the biggest impact, especially with the massive craze for social networks. With the appearance of infinite scroll (or scrolling content ad infinitum) have emerged two new behaviors: The ability to swipe the content that is considered irrelevant, greatly reducing the time to pay attention to content. Consumption of content without sound. As content is very often presented with the sound turned off, users have come to associate a new “meaning” to videos: playing closed captions. Instead of just watching videos, we often read the content instead of listening to it.

According to the study carried out by Sharethrough, 75% of individuals often state that they watch videos on their mobile with the sound deactivated (telephone on mute). And this behavior is also observed on other screens, since 62% of individuals frequently indicate watching videos without activating the sound on their computer!

Television is no longer considered the first screen. Now, it is our mobile phone that has taken this place. Moreover, 79% of people decide to focus their attention on their mobile when advertisements start on TV. A huge challenge for advertisers! How do you capture people’s attention with video ads when it’s now easy to take your attention away from ads, whether on TV, computer or mobile? For example, on a computer, 90% of people tend to skipper (in relation to the famous « Skip » button from YouTube) video ads whenever they get a chance, and 49% report opening another window or tab while waiting for ads to end. In a context where the user’s attention is shared between multiple devices and the sound is frequently muted, how can advertisers expect consumers to pay enough attention to understand their message?

A new unexpected behavior of consumers: playing videos!
Let’s come back to one of the points mentioned previously: the reading associated with videos. Consumers now expect videos to be captioned. They are moreover more inclined to watch videos when they are offered with subtitles: 72% more on mobile, 60% more on computer and even 50% more on television. Our growing demand for captioned videos is certainly due to the increase in video viewing on mobile. But let’s not think that we only watch subtitled videos on mobile! Now, over 50% of adults under 45 almost always keep captions when they watch TV in their spoken language (s).

How can advertisers sadapter ?
Without hesitation, add subtitles! Recently, major social media have started to make life easier for consumers and advertisers by automatically adding captions to videos. But what about the rest of the web (the famous open web) ?

Sharethrough analyzed the thousands of creative videos delivered on the inventory offered in its Ad Exchange, and found that less than 10% of the videos had captions. It is for this reason that the company decided to create the product Dynamic Captions, to automate the addition of subtitles to all videos delivered through Sharethrough Exchange. The impact is clear: the Dynamic Captions Achieve a 56% increase in advertising message comprehension over videos without subtitles and 9% over regular embedded subtitles.

Put on your consumer hat
Even before being a marketer, you yourself are a consumer. Evaluate your media placements and think about what people will do when your video ad appears. For example, if we consider that 90% of consumers will seek to skipper your pre-roll ad, make sure you grab their attention from the first 5 seconds of your ad. And what to do with the advertisements delivered on TV? Sharethrough is currently testing new products to bring the user’s attention back to the TV during commercials. To do this, the company asked itself a key question: how to make the advertising break interesting for the user, other than relying solely on the quality of the ad itself? More information to come very soon!

Diversify your video environment
Did you know that the majority of video ads delivered online are not even displayed in the context of consuming video content? Basically, according to a study by Jounce Media, most video ads (excluding TV) would be displayed while the user is not even watching a video. It is asserted by Jounce Media that 42% of video ads run in a “reading” environment, 38% in a “listening” environment and 14% in a game environment. Reading environments, such as browsing content, articles or media social, are the ones in which consumers spend the most time on the Internet. Again, there is no doubt about the relevance of adding subtitles to your video ads. outstream.

Get ready for the fourth wave of video content consumption!
These simple tactics discussed above alone will allow you to better tailor your video ads to modern video consumption behaviors. But be ready for new changes, especially with the marked arrival of virtual reality in homes, via headsets VR, and democratization in the years to come of the metaverse! But let’s save those predictions for next time!