Video On Demand


Video on demand: a video which can be streamed and accessed at any time, for free, for a subscription fee, or by payment for individual videos.

A Quick Look at Viewing Habits and Demographics

Video Length:

Video trends, for on demand video, show a market for short content and content to be consumed on smaller devices.

As of 2014, the ideal length of a YouTube video – based on the top 50 most viewed videos – was three minutes, though this could be skewed by the delivery of music videos through YouTube. Over forty-five percent of on demand content under six minutes was consumed via smart phone, suggesting content delivered by YouTube is likely to be viewed on a smaller screen, more flippantly, or while out of the house.

Netflix was viewed over twice as much per month (average of 588 minutes per user) on a tablet computer than smart phone; as Netflix delivers longer content, this shows longer content is likely to be consumed on a larger device – and is backed up by the information that seventy percent of videos over ten minutes were consumed on tablets, or devices with larger screens.

Age, in relation to viewing habits:

As video content has become cheaper, and class no longer has such an influence on viewing habits – and, to a certain extent, buying habits – the most efficient way of categorising content consumers has become age. This applies to content creators, disturbers, and advertisers.

By far, the largest consumers of on demand video are eighteen to twenty-five year olds. And every age group under fifty to ninety-nine consume more content via video on demand services, than traditional television. Also, smart phones and other smaller viewing devices are more likely to be used by younger generations: with twenty-five year olds as a middle point, older people consume the majority of their content on devices larger than tablets, and younger people use smaller devices – though younger people use the broadest range of devices overall.

How consumers find new content:

With the majority YouTube and Netflix users accessing these sites at least once and week, and half of users accessing these sites daily, content suggestion algorithms are the most common way in which consumers find new content.

Second is a a new form of word of mouth, bred from easy and direct video sharing, making shareability an even more important factor. Age thirty-five to forty-nine year olds have also displayed a tendency to communicate more privately, stressing the need for shareable and conversation instigating content amongst this group, as they are less likely to ‘like’ and ‘share’ their media publicly.

Traditional media outlets are also being to advertise video on demand, with BBC and ITV both running adverts for their on demand services on national television – though it’s unknown how effective these adverts are.

Targeting content:

To target content creation effectively, considering the ways in which different demographics consume media is incredibly important.

As more and more media in consumed through smaller devices, it is important to created content that doesn’t rely on a cinematic viewing experience to be enjoyable – focusing on narrative, or educational content, is more important. Also, with people consuming media on the go, it’s likely that they will be using headphones and will find listening to information easier than watching it.

Consumers are also limited by costs associated with video on demand, therefore viewers are more likely to view free content – thirty-three percent being ‘video made by other consumers’ and eleven percent being ‘downloaded content’, which is mainly made up of pirated content. Pirated content having an eleven percent market share shows that ‘word of mouth’ is clearly a common form of content sharing, as no advertiser would recommend pirating content. Pirated content is also more difficult to access – or is seen that way – therefore it’s likely these users are young people (age eighteen to twenty-four) with a greater understanding of modern technology. Which suggests cheap, or free content with advertising to generate revenue is best suited to this demographic.

Video on YouTube algorithms:

Ericsson survey 2015:

Vennetics mobile operating guild:

Counter argument against using broad demographics to target content:



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