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Live Video More Popular than On-Demand

iStock_000016057255XSmall-300x300Online video services like Hulu and Netflix have revolutionized how people watch TV. Many are trading in their traditional services in favour of an online only solution. Many believe this is because these services put the power of what they watch back into the hands of the viewers. They can see what they want, when they want, using video on-demand (VOD) services.

But an interesting study reported by eMarketer reveals that live video wins out over on-demand. At least when measured by the amount of time viewers spend watching on various devices. What could be at the heart of this seemingly counter intuitive result?

First, look at the numbers from the study of worldwide viewing.

Viewers on desktop computers viewed an average 40 minutes of live video per play compared to just 3.15 for VOD.  The pattern continues on tablets and mobile devices where live viewing generally lasted four times longer than VOD.

Also tablets had the highest completion rate when compared to desktops or mobile phones (and only slightly less than CTV rates) at 41.5%. The completion rate is measured regardless of video type, live or VOD.

The completion rates though, don’t really help answer why viewers spend more time watching live video (since the data is all combined). Here’s a theory why live seems to be more popular:

Because it’s live.

With VOD viewers have more choices. They can start or stop the video at any time and not miss a thing. So your break is over? Stop the video until lunch or later that day. Your Mum rings? Stop and finish it later.

When viewers are watching a live show, it effectively is a captive audience. Unless the video is being recorded for later VOD, the viewer needs to watch it or risk missing part of the show or event. Live video removes the power from the viewer, just like traditional TV programming.

So the result isn’t surprising at all. If you want to capture an audience, use live video.

If you’re interested in learning how you can use live video, contact us today for a free consultation.

Oliver Burt

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