Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Dayparting and Video Consumption

I enjoyed my time in Vietnam and I’ll be posting a series detailing what I’ve learned about marketing there and another about my travels. I’m also happy to be back and trying to catch up on what’s been going on in social media over the past three weeks.

Something that caught my eye while I was gone was the article in the New York Times on lunchtime video. That's not a surprise to those of us who have consumed Internet content, including video, over lunch at our desks for years! As a recognizable trend, it’s clearly something else that marketers need to figure into their media buys.

The most recent data I could locate is from comscore Video Metrix.Two issues are obvious:
1.Weekday video viewing is high during the core workday and from 8 – 11 p.m. but even higher in the 5 – 8 pm daypart.
2.The pattern changes markedly on weekends, with viewing high all afternoon but highest from 7 – 11 pm.

What are they watching? While the specific answer is obviously segment-specific, we can also make some generalizations about that:
•According to the Times article and the comscore data, they are “snacking” on short videos, leaving longer segments for evenings and weekends.
•There are numerous sites that offer popular lunchtime fare, including portals and large media sites. This list from a Canadian entertainment writer has sites catering to various segments.
Last year Pew found that 57% of Internet users (74% of broadband users)had viewed or downloaded video. A study published this month found that 48% of users had visited a video-sharing site and that daily use of these sites has doubled in the past year.
•Mobile video is on the horizon; a recent study described by Media Post found that 41% of teenagers have cell phones with video downloading capability and half of them have actually downloaded videos. Since mobile translates to “on the go” that will shift the dayparting algorithm.

So video—on the desktop or on mobile devices—represents another advertising opportunity for marketers. First, they must understand the video viewing behavior of their target audiences. Then they will be able to take advantage of the dayparting being offered by publisher sites. Sites like Boston.com and CNN allow marketers to target video advertising demographically or behaviorally and then refine their ad buy with dayparts.

The voracious appetite for video on the part of web users is undeniable. It creates another opportunity for marketers to target advertising to a time and context that makes it relevant to the viewer. The next step is for marketers to factor video advertising into their media buying and scheduling activities.
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