Online video watching on the up and up: Ipsos

A new survey on Canadians' online video viewing habits indicates strong growth, creating a ripe environment for high-ROI branded entertainment, M Consulting's Bill Mohri says.

With Canadians increasingly viewing free online video, the day when web-surfing surpasses prime-time TV viewership is nearer than you think, according to the first-ever study on Canadian online viewing habits by pollster Ipsos Reid and M Consulting.

‘There is the potential that a critical mass of Canadians could be watching more online video than TV much sooner than experts predicted,’ M Consulting president Bill Mohri, who commissioned the study, said in a release.

The survey, which polled 2,350 English-speaking Canadians nationally, found almost 100% of Canadians between the ages of 18 and 24 view video content online, with just over three-quarters watching at least a couple of times a week.

Credit comedy for a recent surge in online viewing among Canadians.

Around 65% of Canadians polled between Sept. 8 and 16 said they watch comical videos on the internet more often than any other programming genre, including news.

The online consumption findings also revealed that, while younger Canadians do the most web-viewing, 68% of Canadians over 55 years of age said they watch some video content online. It was a stat that surprised Mohri.

‘Older Canadians are watching much more than I thought,’ he told MiC in an interview. ‘We expected to hear that tweens and young adults would be consuming disproportionately high amounts of [online video] but what we’re seeing is the continued growth with younger people, and the increasing growth of 35-plus. That’s a great news story for brands that are looking for high ROI communication channels.’

The poll findings have implications for brand marketers and content producers, Mohri said in the release.

‘It’s clear that brands have an impact with more frequent viewers of online video. It’s a more engaging, interactive medium,’ he said.

‘Brand marketers and content producers need to pay attention to this growth area because it’s much less expensive than TV advertising and has real potential to reach consumers more effectively than TV,’ he said.

The full details of the study will be unveiled in a panel presentation at the MergeMedia: Online Branded entertainment conference on Oct. 22 in Toronto

From Playback Daily, with files from Media in Canada