There’s significant momentum for publishers toward increasing the production of video content, on account of both the strength of video as a medium for storytelling and high video CPMs as advertisers begin to move their TV spends online see the Chicago Tribune’s coverage for one example. An increase in video content across the board, of course, means that it’s all the more important that we have a sense of which parts of our audience we can hope to reach with video. To that end, below is a brief survey of the state of online audiences and their consumption of video.
When visitors land on a text-based article, in almost all circumstances they read some portion of the article’s content. The questions we ask about optimizing article consumption, then, are about how deeply we can get visitors to read the content they land on and about their navigation – how we can improve the odds they’ll go on to read a second page.
With video consumption, though, the situation is entirely different: Excepting sites that automatically start videos when a visitor lands on the page we’ll discuss them later, there’s massive attrition between the act of visiting a page with video on it and the act of actually pressing play. Of course, if someone doesn’t even play a video, the quality of the content is moot – we can’t possibly hope to win them over with a video that isn’t watched – so our first goal must be to identify and understand who the best candidates are for pressing play.