Forget cat videos, long-form is king for millennials online: report

Rob Young, SVP at PHD Canada, with some of the highlights of this year's IAB Canada CMUST study.

Think millennials are only interested in short-form content online? Think again, according to numbers compiled by PHD Canada’s SVP, director of insights and analytics, Rob Young.

In the 2016 cross-media usage trends (CMUST) study with IAB Canada Young found it is predominantly long-form TV content that’s being watched by adults 18 to 34 online.

Previously focused on how each platform works on its own, Young said this year IAB Canada and PHD honed in on intramedia, or how platforms are used together. To that end the presentation opens with the example of The Tragically Hip’s final concert, which was streamed by the CBC/Radio-Canada across platforms this summer. Young cites that example as a shining success, with a 35% reach for the show overall.

Young’s finding on long-form versus short-term digital video viewing is based on unearthed internet minutes per capita, with the ratio calculated using OTT and non-OTT minutes. Short-form video is considered to be Google and Facebook video, with long-form video including platforms like Netflix.

Overall, 62% of video content that 18-to 34-year-olds watched online was long-form, with 38% as short-form. That finding is part of why Young said that internet video is the way to the millennial demo’s heart.

Though traditional media follows a curved upward line between weekly reach and time spent, Netflix is what Young called a “time hog”: It over-indexes with the time spent watching every week exceeding the weekly reach in ways that network television doesn’t do.

As in previous years, Young found on top of the measured digital usage minutes, there were 43% of online minutes that remained unmeasured by comScore. That’s up slightly from last year’s 40%. It remains so high because of measurement lags like comScore still not measuring video time spent on mobile or online audio use.

The CMUST report will be again presented by Young at the IAB Canada’s French Canada Media Landscape and Metrics Conference on Jan. 19.


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