Consumer Behavior Cements the Relationship Between TV and Online Video

According to a new report from Mahlet Seyoum, an Industry Analyst of Media and Entertainment at Google, entitled “The Role of Digital in TV Research, Fanship, and Viewing,” 90% of TV viewers also visit YouTube and Google. This further cements the undeniable bond between television and online video that has been strengthened by viewers’ desire to engage and interact with quality content.

The study found that year-over-year (YOY) searches for TV related content have grown 16% on Google and 54% on YouTube search. There has also been an increase in video views, watch time (65% YOY growth) and engagement on YouTube around TV related content.

As a whole, online video views have increased 50% YOY according to comScore’s February 2014 Video Metrix. In February, 182.4 million Americans watched 49.2 billion videos and 24.6 billion ads—the number of videos viewed is up 49.1% and video ad views went up an astonishing 148.5% (ClickZ).

What we’re beginning to see is a shift from TV to online. Marketing budgets have historically favored television, but now as consumers flood the online space, brands are beginning to seek out a balance between television and digital advertising. This isn’t to say that companies are only utilizing these channels independently; in fact, many are taking advantage of traditional TV’s reach and targeting capabilities to drive viewers to their online content.

For example, NBCUniversal announced its plans to unveil more than a dozen digital video programs/projects. The first two will be based on existing NBCUniversal TV shows: “Saturday Night Live” and former hit show “Heroes”. To boost awareness and excitement around its digital programming, NBCU will promote the shows across its linear TV channels and also offer cross-media deals to linear TV advertisers.

“The combination of digital video alongside television content is extremely powerful and becoming an increasingly important part of the connection advertisers make with consumers,” said Linda Yaccarino, president of advertising sales for NBCUniversal, in a statement.

Similarly, Hulu recently advertised its new comedy “Deadbeat,” on a few cable channels. Does this mean we will see more original online shows being promoted through traditional television? Perhaps, but the biggest takeaway here is the growing importance of digital content. Companies are using TV advertising to pull viewers online, and are thus, in a way, expediting the consumer shift to online video content.

In the near future, television and online video may simply act as springboards to one another—endlessly bouncing viewers from one channel to the other. For now, brands and marketers are experimenting with ways to drive audiences to both in order to cater to a wide range of content consumption behaviors.

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