Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Most People Don't Watch Web Video For More Than 60 Seconds

We tend to have short attention spans. If we don't like what we are watching immediately, we are quick to turn it off. Technology has put controls on the tip of our fingers and we tend to keep our finger on the button all the time. Add to that the infinite choice available on the PC and we are unlikely to watch more than a few minutes before stopping. "After clicking play, viewers only watch to the end of 5-minute long Web videos about 10% of the time. Only 16% make it through three minutes, Web video services provider TubeMogul reports, after measuring 23 million streams on six top video sites over two weeks."

Given that the PC lets us multitask, it is hard to devote our attention to one screen when we are juggling multiple projects. It becomes harder to devote attention to one screen or video for too long a time without some distraction, either on the PC or external (phone call, meeting, etc) to interrupt us. Still, this research simply looks at a moment in time. What I think confuses people is technology with content. All lengths are relevant, and ultimately the consumer decides where they want to watch their videos. How it is transmitted to a screen, TV, PC, or cell, will one day be meaningless. That is to say, we won't be differentiating between a web video and a broadcast video; rather, we will describe it as simple short form or long form. And to the question of monetization, the length of the content and the device it is displayed on may ultimately determine which type of advertising is most effective.