Study of the Key Drivers ofOnline Content ConsumptionKristin Kovner        Bill Ziff-Levine          Jon StewartSenior Mar...
Background• This benchmark study was sponsored by AOL  Advertising to develop insights into:  –   Content and what it mean...
Marketing Challenges• AOL seeks to be the largest provider of original,  digital content• Achieving this goal requires a r...
MethodsThe study utilized a four stage approach• Stage 1 of this research consisted of 12 Consumer  focus groups that were...
Content UsageA broad, active marketConsumers weekly amount of time online 1 to 10 Hours / Week                            ...
Content UsageContent is 53% of time onlineWays consumers typically spend time online Content Activity = 53                ...
Content UsageThe “How” and “What” of content“For me everything is information based and I’m gonna go to the specific websi...
Content UsageSeven in ten consumers have <20 sites in their core mixSize of the average core media mix*                   ...
Content UsageChance to break into the core mixSource: Nielsen, “Identifying Opportunity: Driving Forces Behind Content Con...
Content UsageNew sites are regularly incorporated intothe core mixSource: Nielsen, “Identifying Opportunity: Driving Force...
Content UsageThe core mix is ever-changing                                                                                ...
Content DriversContent choice is significantly more complicatedon the InternetSource: Nielsen Online Custom Survey, Behavi...
Content DriversTrusted brand is most important in driving loyalty…across categories                                       ...
Content DriversDecision drivers evolve during the processFrom discovery to context to content & brand              • Acces...
Content Drivers Disconnect between perceived and actual discovery How consumers find “News” & “Entertainment” online      ...
Content DriversReach revolves around access, speed andself-guided discovery                I DON’T HAVE TO PAY TO WATCH IT...
Content Drivers     Four in ten pay for some form of online content     Online content consumers currently pay for    Musi...
Content DriversNot just original, but also quality to yield valueConsumers on Content Types“ When the Reds play a ball gam...
Content DriversBrand and author are keyInfluence when choosing / selecting online content(Top 3 boxes – in 10-pt. scale)   ...
Audience InsightsFour distinct categories help define your audience
Audience InsightsTourists: Rarely trial new content,                                     GT      CJbut when they do, they ...
Audience InsightsContent junkies: Trial often, stick often                               GT    CJand are won over by conte...
Audience InsightsTried-and-true: Heavy social media users,                                    GT       CJand have static v...
Audience InsightsUtilitarians: Heavy trial, low stick                       GT       CJexplorers who tend towards quicklya...
Advertising    Consumers have grown to accept advertising    Acceptability of online advertising    Very / somewhat accept...
AdvertisingConsumer largely accept ads• Ads that enhance              Targeted Ads – Relevant                     “ I thin...
AdvertisingConsumers see ads as a form of content(When done well)                                                     Targ...
SummarySummary implications• Brands are important:  – Publishers need to invest in building their brands – fresh, deep,   ...
Study of the Key Drivers of Online Content Consumption
Study of the Key Drivers of Online Content Consumption
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Study of the Key Drivers of Online Content Consumption

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At the Advertising Research Foundation’s (ARF) 2011 annual re:think convention, a key issues forum presentation was held entitled Study of the Key Drivers of Online Content Consumption. An AOL sponsored study to better understand content usage was presented. Presenters included, Kristin Kovner- Senior Marketing Director at AOL, Bill Ziff-Levine-Principal & Co-Founder Data & Management at Counsel, Inc., & Jon Stewart- Research Director at Nielsen.

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Study of the Key Drivers of Online Content Consumption

  1. 1. Study of the Key Drivers ofOnline Content ConsumptionKristin Kovner Bill Ziff-Levine Jon StewartSenior Marketing Principal & Co-Founder Research DirectorDirector Data & Management NielsenAOL Counsel, Inc.
  2. 2. Background• This benchmark study was sponsored by AOL Advertising to develop insights into: – Content and what it means to consumers – Consumer behaviors related to content – Value drivers (e.g., brand, author, advertisers, etc.) – Impact of advertising on the user content experience• This report merges two sets of key findings from: – The Consumer and Content: Benchmark Study Conducted by Data & Management Counsel, Inc. – Identifying Opportunity: Driving Forces Behind Content Consumption Conducted by The Nielsen Company
  3. 3. Marketing Challenges• AOL seeks to be the largest provider of original, digital content• Achieving this goal requires a rich understanding of today’s consumer needs, behaviors and perspectives on content• The lack of a comprehensive set of critical insights on how consumers seek, consume, share, discuss, develop loyalty, etc., around content motivated this study
  4. 4. MethodsThe study utilized a four stage approach• Stage 1 of this research consisted of 12 Consumer focus groups that were conducted in four markets• Stage 2 of this research consisted of an online quantitative assessment• Stage 3 of this research consisted of Personal Interviews with Advertising Professionals and Content Producers• Stage 4 consisted of an assessment of online behaviors over a 6 month period followed by an online quantitative assessment
  5. 5. Content UsageA broad, active marketConsumers weekly amount of time online 1 to 10 Hours / Week Amount of11 to 20 Hours / Week Time Online For Personal 20+ Hours / WeekHighlights• Most consumers far exceeded the criteria of “1 hour or more per week online”• Six in ten are online more than 10 hours per week• Pervasiveness in the many different types of websites used
  6. 6. Content UsageContent is 53% of time onlineWays consumers typically spend time online Content Activity = 53 Communication Activity = 47 How They Spend Time Online? Seeking / getting Info Email “Online I just do research & play.” Entertainment “ I do a lot of shopping and spend (video, games & music) most of my time looking at things Shopping Social Networking on different websites & Facebook.” - Consumer Quotes Primarily Content Primarily Communications
  7. 7. Content UsageThe “How” and “What” of content“For me everything is information based and I’m gonna go to the specific website that I already use and am comfortable with. ” - Consumer Quotes
  8. 8. Content UsageSeven in ten consumers have <20 sites in their core mixSize of the average core media mix* 44% 25% 15% 17% 50% - * Core Media Mix: All sites% of total sites visited (‘domain.com’) visited by an individual during a typical month 25% - Source: Nielsen Online Custom Survey, Behavioral Data July 09 – June 10, 0% - Sample: n=1,558 # of sites on which consumer spend 80% of their time 10 or less sites 11-20 Sites 21-30 Sites More than 30 sitesSource: Nielsen, “Identifying Opportunity: Driving Forces Behind Content Consumption,” 9/10.
  9. 9. Content UsageChance to break into the core mixSource: Nielsen, “Identifying Opportunity: Driving Forces Behind Content Consumption,” 9/10.
  10. 10. Content UsageNew sites are regularly incorporated intothe core mixSource: Nielsen, “Identifying Opportunity: Driving Forces Behind Content Consumption,” 9/10.
  11. 11. Content UsageThe core mix is ever-changing Core sites fall in and out of favor, but are rarely abandoned completely Core Mix Diluted Abandoned Top sites (‘domain.com’) Site that was originally in the core mix, Site that was originally where visitors spend 80% and continued to visit, but not as one in the core mix, but of their total Internet time of core mix. eventually was not during a typical month. visited anymore. High opportunity for entry High risk of falling outSource: Nielsen Online Custom Survey, Behavioral Data July 09 – June 10, Sample n=1,558
  12. 12. Content DriversContent choice is significantly more complicatedon the InternetSource: Nielsen Online Custom Survey, Behavioral Data July 09 – June 10, Sample n=1,558
  13. 13. Content DriversTrusted brand is most important in driving loyalty…across categories Consumer Hierarchy of Content Attributes 1st Tier Importance When Seeking “News” Online Credible & Trusted Source 8.7 Recent 6.9 Relevant 6.8 2nd Tier Authentic 6.7 Quality 6.6 Known, Est. brand 5.3 3rd Tier Interesting 4.8 Isn’t Trying to Sell Me 4.0 Ease of Navigation 3.9 4th Tier Expert Recommended 3.7 Familiar / Habitual 3.4 Original 3.0 Convenient 2.9 Friend Recommended 2.3 Among 1st Search Results 2.3 Visually Appealing 1.6
  14. 14. Content DriversDecision drivers evolve during the processFrom discovery to context to content & brand • Accessibility • Accessibility • Brand / Author • Discovery • Narrative • Narrative • Personalization • Timeliness • TimelinessSource: Nielsen, “Identifying Opportunity: Driving Forces Behind Content Consumption,” 9/10.
  15. 15. Content Drivers Disconnect between perceived and actual discovery How consumers find “News” & “Entertainment” online TOTAL : 20 Links from friends When asked to describe themselves Email Alerts in terms of how they seek and find News / Entertainment content, the majority (seven in ten)Search Site describe themselves asEngine “Search-Focused.” So, there appears to be a contradiction in terms of their perceived use of search and how they report they actually use it.Portal / Homepage TOTAL : 57
  16. 16. Content DriversReach revolves around access, speed andself-guided discovery I DON’T HAVE TO PAY TO WATCH IT 74%ACCESSIBILITY During discovery, FAST PAGE LOADS 67% removing barriers to access is highly CONVENIENCE OF CONTENT 61% important FIND CONTENT BY USING A SEARCH ENGINE 45% DISCOVER CONTENT MYSELF 40% FIND CONTENT ON SPECIFIC WEBSITES 35%DISCOVERY SHARED CONTENT WITHIN A SITE 22% Self-guided discovery A FRIEND RECOMMENDS CONTENT TO ME 21% is still more prevalent than socially guided CONTENT EMAILED TO ME 19% discovery FIND CONTENT BY RECEIVING TWEETS ABOUT IT 10% Source: Nielsen Online Custom Survey + Behavioral, July 09 – June 10; Sample n=1,558
  17. 17. Content Drivers Four in ten pay for some form of online content Online content consumers currently pay for Music Downloads Consumers on Paying for ContentOnline Video Streaming “ [Content worth paying for is] something you can’t live without; something you need.” E-Books Video “ If you wanted to get information… you used Downloads to have to pay for it like a subscription….Online News Now there are ways you can go about getting Sources it without paying for it.” Podcast - Consumer Quotes Do Not Pay For Any Experts on Paying For Content “ (Paid content has to be) original, fresh, The qualities that make online content worth paying for: new and valuable…and interesting.” Something I use all the time High quality - David Bell Original – can’t find anywhere else Time-saving Chairman Emeritus The Interpublic Group
  18. 18. Content DriversNot just original, but also quality to yield valueConsumers on Content Types“ When the Reds play a ball game you can get that story from a lot of different places. There is a fellow that writes for the Dayton Daily News and I always read his. I like his writing style. In a case like that you want his original.”
  19. 19. Content DriversBrand and author are keyInfluence when choosing / selecting online content(Top 3 boxes – in 10-pt. scale) Original Content “ Proponents of original content are often highly passionate about and loyal to these sources of original content.” “ I don’t like to read the same article on different news sites. I like to get it at one source and know that it’s accurate and original.” Well Known Article By Topic Article By Well Well Known - Consumer Quotes Brand Website Area Expert Known Journalist Blogger
  20. 20. Audience InsightsFour distinct categories help define your audience
  21. 21. Audience InsightsTourists: Rarely trial new content, GT CJbut when they do, they tend to stickGuided Tourists TT UKey Drivers Helps me figure out where to go and what to do INCOME: <$25,000 Allows me to view a wide variety of content in one place Helpful in finding other content AGE: 55+ Recommends content that is useful to me Is attached to my homepage SEARCH SOCIAL
  22. 22. Audience InsightsContent junkies: Trial often, stick often GT CJand are won over by content and authorrelated attributes TT UContent JunkiesKey Drivers INCOME: Lets me download multimedia (audio, video, etc.) $75,000+ Content is updated frequently Tells me what I need to know quickly GENDER: Content that I find useful MALE Contains articles written by author(s) that I trust Contains articles written by author(s) that I follow SEARCH SOCIAL Personalizes content based on my previous visits
  23. 23. Audience InsightsTried-and-true: Heavy social media users, GT CJand have static visitation patternscompared to other groups TT UTried-and-TrueKey Drivers AGE: Maps content 25-34 Special offers and deals in my local community I don’t have to see ads in order to view the content GENDER: Ive been using this site for a long time and dont want to change FEMALE Discover content myself Little or no advertising SEARCH = SOCIAL Find content on specific websites
  24. 24. Audience InsightsUtilitarians: Heavy trial, low stick GT CJexplorers who tend towards quicklyaccessible and pertinent content TT UUtilitariansKey Drivers AGE: Content includes news updates 25-34 Content includes weather Little or no advertising GENDER: Tells me what I need to know quickly FEMALE Weather and travel content Enables easy sharing (Facebook, etc.) SEARCH = SOCIAL Contains Video/Audio clips
  25. 25. Advertising Consumers have grown to accept advertising Acceptability of online advertising Very / somewhat acceptableAds Targeted to Highlights Your Likes The online ads that are mostAds With Photos (Like Mag.) acceptable to them are: Sponsored Ads • Ads targeted to your likes in Search • Ads with photos (like in a magazine) Banner Ads • Sponsored ads in search results Ads with Consumers are clearly more open to Functionality minimally disruptive ads – ones that In Video Ads are consumable on their own terms – versus those that cannot be easily ignored Pop-Up Ads Take Over Ads
  26. 26. AdvertisingConsumer largely accept ads• Ads that enhance Targeted Ads – Relevant “ I think it’s going to move to be more intuitive with people’s – Engaging / highly targeted habits (and) be highly mobile. The winners are going to be – Visually appealing those who respect privacy, who are in touch on an individual basis on what people do, what they love and like to do.• Ads that detract And provide them ideas.” - Jim Stengel – Disruptive / intrusive President & CEO Jim Stengel Co., LLC – Cannot be ignored Content Expert (like pop-ups, pre-roll ads or takeovers) “ Ads can be useful depending on adaptability. Everybody has – Sites with “too many ads” favorites - if you could type in what your favorite topics are on a page / clutter into an advertising registered site and it’s only going to display things that apply to the list that you created that you can change or alter – then it will filter out what you don’t want anymore, keep bringing in the stuff that you’re interested in, and it will be less intrusive.” - Consumer Quote
  27. 27. AdvertisingConsumers see ads as a form of content(When done well) Targeted Ads “ Consumers want advertisers to provideSponsored content content that adds value, provides value inConsumers believe sponsored content is several forms and provides new and important information. And does that in ahigher quality because of the brand way that surprises and delights and evenassociation and reputation. in a way that can entertain.”Brands convey trust when their content - Jim Stengel President & CEOis enhanced with relevance, quality, Jim Stengel Co., LLCauthenticity, and recency. Content Expert“I would think if it was brought to you by Kraft The Brand / Content Marriageor something then you know maybe the content “ Brand marketers are very interested in theis Probably a little bit more reliable. Why would Relationship between the advertising and the relevance of the content. Context isKraft put their name on this to sponsor it if it incredibly important.”wasn’t something that was going to be - Michael Hayesreliable? It would hurt their image.” EVP, Managing Director Initiative U.S. Content Expert
  28. 28. SummarySummary implications• Brands are important: – Publishers need to invest in building their brands – fresh, deep, relevant, quality, authentic content – Establishing and reinforcing trust and credibility must be a priority• Authors are important: – Invest in your editors and writers – they provide context and create the lens through which users become loyal to your site – Respected authors are very influential in the content decision process• Users beginning to accept advertising as content and seek a more integrated experience: – Advertisers need to think more creatively about how they integrate their message into content online – Ads must engage consumers. To do this effectively they need to be contextually relevant, appealing, and meet consumers’ desires for “fewer ads” on a page

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