Blog Post

Broadcasters See Big Boost In Web Video Viewership

Online video viewers are tuning in to more broadcast content, driving increases in the number of views and the amount of time spent watching traditional TV fare through the web, according to new data from Brightcove and TubeMogul. The Online Video & the Media Industry quarterly research report looks at video data from different segments of Brightcove customers, including broadcasters, newspaper publishers, music labels and magazine publishers.

Broadcasters have seen a huge jump in video viewership over the last year, with a combined run rate of more than 700 million streams delivered via Brightcove — an increase of 74 percent. That growth comes despite only a slight increase in the amount of video clips that they’ve made available over the past year. Broadcast networks have only increased the amount of content uploaded into the Brightcove system by 10 percent over the past year, compared to a 190 percent increase in the number of videos that newspaper publishers upload year-over-year.

Engagement times are increasing pretty dramatically across the board, with viewers watching an average of 5 minutes and 55 seconds of video per viewing session, which is growing at a clip of about 10 percent per month, according to TubeMogul CEO Brett Wilson. Broadcasters not surprising led the pack, with viewers watching an average of 2 minutes and 53 seconds per stream, compared to about a minute and 50 seconds for music videos and a minute and 41 seconds for newspaper videos.

While people watched broadcast TV content for longer, they were more likely to watch newspaper and magazine clips to completion. About 41 percent watched to the end of videos uploaded by newspapers, compared with 39 percent for magazine publishers and 38 percent for broadcasters.

Most video views come from direct traffic, with 51.8 percent of all streams watched after a viewer was already on the publisher’s site. Viewers turned to Google search next, which made up 38.9 percent of all referrals, followed by Yahoo (s YHOO) (5.6 percent), Microsoft’s (s MSFT) Bing (2.3 percent) and Facebook (0.4 percent).

More people find the videos they’re looking for through search or other sites, but Twitter referrals had higher engagement times than all other search engines or social networking sites. For broadcast networks, that resulted in engagement times of a minute and 52 seconds and for magazine publishers that was a minute and 23 seconds. For music labels, engagement from Twitter referrals is a whopping 2 minutes and 33 seconds per streams. Compare that to Yahoo, at 1:32 for music labels, or Google, at 2:01.

Surprisingly, monetizing video content is not a huge priority for Brightcove customers who responded to the survey. The top reason customers gave for uploading videos to their websites was to increase engagement with viewers, which was chosen by 76 percent of respondents. Strengthening their brand (60 percent) and increasing site visitors (55 percent) were the next two reasons, with “increasing advertising inventory” ranking fourth, with just 33 percent.

Related content on GigaOM Pro: A Guide To Online Video Monetization Options (subscription required)