I’m Patrick, Head of UK Trade Research at Yahoo!, and I have a genuinely exciting and hopefully thought provoking piece of research to share with you today. PAUSE But first – a taster of what you are about to hear.CLICK ON VIDEO
So what is shortcast? Well before we can understand this we first need to appreciate the meaning of ‘quality’ in media terms. (CLICK) The dictionary definition of quality is something that is best in class, or excellent, but in reality it has a number of different meanings for people. From previous consumer research, quality can also mean an innovative product or service, something that is well put together, or something unique in the marketplace.(CLICK)In contrast, commercial quality is more straightforward – it is content that has high production standards (preferably broadcast), and that can be controlled editorially.(CLICK)The shortcast opportunity is the point at which the quality needs from the viewer from both a consumer and commercial perspective have been met – which is the point at which advertising becomes acceptable in short form video.By advertising around short form, I mean any advert that a consumer must view before they can view their content, and does not include peripheral display advertising.
The growth in short form video over the last 2 years has not been in isolation. (CLICK)As released by the IAB on Wednesday, a 91% increase in advertising revenue as a result of the 25 million monthly short form viewers and 4 billion monthly views represents an impressive year.(CLICK)And with the average weekly hours of linear TV viewing increasing to the highest level since records began in 2010, and ITV, very much the barometer of TV success, returning to double digit gains, it is evident that we are now in a media ecosystem where short form and TV are increasingly aligned.
(CLICK)Technology as enabler has been critical in growing the use of short form content, and it will continue to be technology that will bring parity between TV and short form video in the future. (CLICK)Let’s take news as an example - it was only 3 years ago that publishers started offering us the ability to be both readers and viewersin the same web article. Where we are going with short form is HD quality and eventually 3DTV on the web – and the digital industry will need to fully address the issue of net neutrality if it is going to bring broadcast as standard onto the web.
In terms of monthly reach of clips less than 5 minutes long, the market is very much led by YouTube, but it is important to put that into perspective.(CLICK) 77% of video users will come to these publisher sites every month for viewing short form as well. There is arguably a lower proportion of user generated content on these sites, which lends itself to being a brand safe environment for advertisers. The industry challenge for publishers and advertisers is to increase the engagement of this short form audience by both expanding video portfolios and making the most of the Shortcast advertising opportunity – by 2015, I believe the aspiration should be for these sites to be reaching 95% of all video users. Now let’s focus on the outliers on this chart – YouTube and the BBC.
The iPlayer effect has caused a market distortion not found anywhere else in the world, and has set the consumer expectation of quality bar very high, in what is obviously a non ad supported environment.(CLICK)In contrast to this, the long tail of user generated content on the web and the low expectation of video advertising around this also serves to suggest that monetising content in this space is difficult to achieve.
(CLICK)Perception is one thing – but the consumer reality is another – viewers have become savvier to the business of media, and now more than ever understand that video content is not free, with three times as many agreeing that by 2015 more online video will have to be paid for.
So that’s the market context – but how did we carry out this study? Well, alongside our research agency Sparkler, and in consultation with the IAB, we first carried out a video market audit, (CLICK)We followed this up with a 75 person video diary over a week to understand behaviours and motivations around engaging with short form, before carrying out a number of in home observation sessions to actually watch how and why viewers watched short form in situCLICKWe then carried out a robust quantitative study of 2000 video users, which was representative of the online video universe.CLICKFinally, we wanted to validate all our findings against some of the leading thinkers in the video industry, who work in these businesses, to understand their take on what consumers said they were doing, and their view of the Shortcast future.
There are 3 insight sections to today’s piece. Firstly, I’m going to talk you about the here and now of the video consumer, before looking at what are the drivers to consumers engaging with short form content. Then I will focus on how both of these elements interact with advertising, and share with you the 8 best practice rules of Shortcast around which to advertise.
So - audience demographic data on short form video provides us with a basic understanding of who is consuming content, but to really get underneath the skin of the user, all of these variables that determine how and what is consumed need to be taken into account. It was through this analysis that we managed to get right to the heart of what defines the Shortcast opportunity.
So let me explain this slide and how to read it.The way that the analysis fell out was that two of the strongest variables were how social a viewer was in terms of sharing content, i.e. word of mouth, email, or social networking - this is the horizontal axis. The other was whether the content was viewed on a pure video site, or a site with a variety of digital content – this is the vertical axis. What was discovered was that the pink quadrant here represents the emerging Shortcast opportunity.
The quadrant with the Shortcast opportunity is made up of viewers who desired higher quality content, who felt that ad supported clips would be better than non ad supported, who believed short form content was of the same high standard as full programme content, and who tended to be slightly older. CLICKFrom the lower quadrant, an audience fell out who tends to watch lower quality clips, who sees illegal content as equal to official content, and tend to see online video as a way of saving money, which fits with their slightly younger skew. PAUSEThere are clear challenges to monetisation of content and audiences here.
The Shortcast quadrant was an area where videos viewed tended to be on sites with wider digital portfolios, and that viewers said offered more trusted environments than the solus video publishers in the lower quadrant.
And from a genre perspective, the Shortcast quadrant tended to watch the likes of news, sport and lifestyle, as opposed to the types of content in the lower quadrant - user generated content, adult content and music and comedy, which offer a lower acceptance level of video advertising content - although comedy and music are genres that needs to be handled with care, and I will return to these later.CLICKWhat is clear is that branded destinations and higher quality content is where the biggest Shortcast opportunity resides.
Consumption of short form by device falls essentially into three levels of usage:CLICKIt is very much driven by the longest serving platforms, laptops and desktop computers, where over 6 in 10 view short videos weekly. Looking towards 2015, the 2 platforms that are likely to lead the charge in terms of uptake of short form will be mobile and tablets.
CLICKThe fragmentation of media has had a major impact on viewing behaviour – and 61% of our sample agreed that they now spent more time consuming content because there is access to so many more devices.CLICKThe context around how people engage with short form on these different devices varies – for example, laptop tends to be evening use, as are tablets, whilst mobile viewing tends to be at the start and end of the day.CLICKAnd whilst there are some variations in audience skew by device, and varying levels of daily frequency, (CLICK) genre remains absolutely central to the short form experience. No matter what device, viewers consume news, sport, film and TV clips across all of them. CLICKComedy and music are also consumed across all devices, but it’s important to mention that for when comedy is viewed, the mood is light hearted, and the viewer is looking for break from the mundane – for advertising to work with comedy, there needs to be a real synergy between the content and the ad. For music the challenge is guaranteeing that your advertising is being seen, because consumers often listen to music videos online but don’t always actually watch them – meaning that your visual ad is consumed purely as an audio ad.CLICK
The last year has been dominated by one of these devices in particular, the tablet- and it’s become evident that they are changing the face of digital. In our observation sessions, we tested the iPad from a video perspective – and it’s clear it is delivering an almost cinematic digital experience, albeit on a 10 inch screen. CLICKWhilst at the moment a £400 plus price point feels too high for many, and the lack of flash does inhibit the experience – although I personally expect that within 18 months both price and technical barriers will have become less of an issue.
From our video diaries and observational sessions we also wanted to explore mindset across specific times on different days of the week – the word cloud here sums up the respondents’ mood at the time of watching a short video clip. On Monday Morning, video users were in a checking frame of mind – checking work, projects, or for those at home, dealing with the general weekday chores. This was a key catch up period after the weekend, and content that fits into this slot tended to be sought out – with information based content like sport and news being particularly popular, with their habitual nature.
(CLICK)This was in contrast to the more tired but happier mood when watching videos on a Wednesday evening – this is a key period for multiscreening (lest we forget that 4.5m users in the UK regularly three screen) – and much of the content consumed tended to be material they couldn’t watch at work. Some users viewed video to inspire them with their evening tasks, with one viewer saying he watched ‘how to make a quick curry’ video.
(CLICK)Perhaps unsurprisingly the Friday lunchtime video mindset was the most positive mood across all weekdays, and people were very much in a light hearted frame of mind, where an air of curiosity allows for users to be open to viewing video outside of their typical remit – comedy was mentioned frequently as a video choice here.
Finally, Saturday night at 7PM was the most relaxed period – the stresses of the weekday need not apply at the middle of the weekend, and the mood was very positive as social plans for the night were being made – whether it be staying in and perhaps watching TV or going out. And it was unsurprising that video consumption mirrored TV on a Saturday night, with the emphasis being on light entertainment.
So now onto the consumer drivers – ultimately the why around video engagement.
CLICK There is a broad variety of factors that will make viewers watch short form video CLICK PAUSE – And the motivator for pressing play is thus highly unpredictable, and from a planning perspective we need to focus on other variables to distinguish the optimal consumer experience.CLICK
A key driver to consumption is immediacy – or as near to live viewing as possible. This particularly applied to Sport, a genre with a consistent schedule and with key times of the week when the content value is at a consumer premium - users are leveraging the on demand nature of the web to help them get the sports content they are looking for.CLICK
It’s also important to understand when user generated content delivers high consumer quality. This can be driven by a desire for the authentic – so seeing a gig through the eyes of a fellow fan offers something that has a high degree of value attached. Similarly, low quality user generated clips can deliver high consumer quality because of the reminiscing factor – older content naturally has a lower professional quality, and this was part of the charm of that content.It’s clear that publishers can benefit from including user generated content in their portfolio – but the acceptance of advertising will be extremely low.
In our research we wanted to understand how viewers engaged with short form through golden moments – Susan Boyle was an obvious example of this, so we asked in our study what and where would respondents like to view Susan Boyle content, with the assumption that they were interested in watching the content. The ITV content was broadcast quality footage, the YouTube clip user generated, and the BBC News clip was an interview with the singer.CLICKSo qualitatively users chose ITV, because they felt it was official content – which was supported in the survey data. CLICKViewers were 12 percent more likely to choose the ITV content over YouTube – again, relevant brand destinations and broadcast quality content emerged as central to the Shortcast viewing experience.
CLICKThese golden moments that occur are very few and far between and are usually highly unpredictable – but in the next 18 months there are two of these moments guaranteedThat will deliver huge Shortcast opportunities – the challenge for advertisers is to make sure you’re present in this space ahead of time.
We may all be fairly tech savvy in this room, but the average video viewer is still genuinely concerned about computer viruses and malware on the web – this is true of both tech savvy users and the newer viewing audiences. There are a relatively small number of trusted media brands on the web where videos are played, the likes of Youtube, MSN, Yahoo!, and broadcast and newspaper sites – and trust is something that you can’t buy.CLICKAnd by default, the global clampdown on the web around downloading illegal content that we are seeing means that increasingly the way to consume official content will be largely through official channels.CLICK
And so to advertising – how do you maximise the Shortcast opportunity when you know that your content has consumer quality? Coming up are the 8 rules of advertising in the short video space. But let’s first hear about advertising first hand – from the viewer.CLICK
Firstly – to Sound, still a subject of some debate – auto initiated, or user initiated?
Our research stated that turning sound on is an accepted interruption in the viewing experience – with 50% more likely to agree than disagree that they would stop what they are doing to turn up the volume – PAUSEUltimately sound can help get the undivided attention of your viewer. CLICKOn the need for subtitling around ads, it’s a less clear picture, with a significant minority stating they would use it if available, although nearly half of all respondents did not see the need.
How long should an advertising experience be? To understand this we really need to take a step back and look at how TV and online fit together.
CLICKAnything less than 10 seconds is usually for TV, a form of ident or sponsorship and highly effective for branding. To bring this across to online, the IAB suggest 3-10 seconds and refers to this type of online video ad as bumpers to video content. 7 seconds is a figure that has been suggested as the minimum viewing of a video ad before a consumer is given the opportunity to skip it, however recent Yahoo! research suggests that for maximising brand recall the ideal is a minimum of 10 seconds. CLICK10 – 30 seconds is the common length of most TV spot ads with the majority being sold as 30 second spots. CLICK For Shortcast advertising, viewers have claimed that 22 seconds is the ideal acceptable length of an ad. Incidentally, from Comscore’s industry norms, the actual average length of an ad in front of a video in the UK is also 22 seconds – which means we are confident in this number as the optimal length, and it is extremely positive to see that what viewers claimed in our research exactly tallied with what is being measured in the digital space.CLICKThe maximum spots in TV tend to be up to 2 minutes for a single advertiser.CLICKAnd for all TV advertising, no matter what the length, any brand that invests in superior creative messaging has a major digital opportunity – as viewers will seek out high quality ads online of up to 2 minutes long. The message for all advertising here is the delivery of compelling creative solutions and storytelling naturally lends itself to the earned media opportunity that is available in the digital space.
CLICKThe benefits of additional Interactivity need to be clearly laid out, as users are still unclear as to what they are going to get
with only 20% agreeing that they want the ability to interact more, any additional call to action cannot afford to be vague. The digital landscape, and video in particular, are already highly interactive environments, so clear communication is required if you are looking for a further action.
Subtitling – only 26% say they will use it – so a significant minority think they should be used, with a further 38% indifferentwill turn volume up or switch on when they see or hear something of interest online
CLICKUsers want the ability to consume quality content in branded environments – this is where the Shortcast opportunity lies. But within these environments relevant supportive content is crucial. Joe, one of the respondents in our observation sessions summed this up nicely – his Sport experience is an immersive one, which means he will make an appointment to view at his own convenience, because he expects to be drawn in by other things present on the page.
And as we now know, genre is a crucial factor in how consumers decide on short video choices.
And what we have seen, similar to TV, is there are expected differences in gender – despite the supposed rise of the metrosexual, the type of video least viewed by men is still beauty clips, and women as a whole still haven’t become huge fans of science and technology. PAUSECLICKAnd it’s important to focus on the genres where the opportunities reside – and when this is taken into account, the consistent picture of key genres emerge. Now whilst there is some overlap between the top short form genres and the top TV genres from BARB data, in particular in terms of News and Sport and Comedy, it will be interesting to see if by 2015 the top genres align across linear and short form platforms.
Clip image and title are further down the decision making funnel, but will still influence what video is finally played.Interestingly, the title will be more important when choosing comedy clips, whilst for broader entertainment the quality of the image and its relevance was seen as more important. Ultimately investing time in ensuring that video content is fully optimised for search will ensure that findability is not an issue.CLICK
And following on from the theme of genre, how much advertising do consumers think they are seeing, and what is their current perceptions around advertising volumes?
The great news is that for the majority of genres there are double digit percentage figures saying viewers are not seeing any ads – interestingly around 7 in 10 are seeing they are seeing ads around UGC and virals.
CLICKAnd of the people who have seen ads, we are clearly in the early days of video advertising, as over 50% of all respondents across all genres are saying the levels of advertising is acceptable. But it is still relatively early days for short form and the opportunity is still being formed.
And finally, TEST. With 25m monthly short form viewers and content being consumed across a wide variety of devices, there’s a major Shortcast opportunity to deliver powerful brand communications through short form. Testing your brand in this space and trying different approaches is crucial to making the most of this fast growing opportunity.CLICKSo we return to the question of what is Shortcast.
CLICKThe consumption of short form and the subsequent advertising opportunity is more and more finding alignment with the linear TV world – and genre is at the heart of that intersect.CLICKThere are opportunities in terms of both paid and earned media advertising around short form – and the one of the key challenges is raising the creative bar, to ensure that either your push and pull advertising is compelling enough in itself to make viewers seek it out on the web.CLICKAnd finally, branded destinations can provide broadcast quality, relevant content, a consumer level of trust, and an audience who are accepting of advertising. This is truly where the Shortcast opportunity lies.CLICK
Shortcast Yahoo! final roadshow
QUALITY SHORT FORM VIDEO AND ADVERTISING THROUGH TO 2015
what is shortcast? consumer quality commercial quality best in class innovative high technical standard well made editorial control distinctive/uniqueSource: Yahoo! Shortcast research
audiovisual growth video online TV 24.7m + 2hrs short form viewers (<5 mins) linear TV viewing £54m (+91%) +16% video advertising growth ITV ad revenueSource: Yahoo! Shortcast research/IAB/Comscore/Screendigest/BARB/ITV
2015: on the road to digital and TV parity 3d hd live streaming text & video interaction mobility & wifi flash web growth, broadbandSource: Yahoo! Shortcast research
sizing up the opportunity 90% % video users consuming short video monthly 80% 80% 70% 77% 60% 50% 46% 44% 41% 40% 30% 20% 18% 17% 14% 13% 13% 11% 10% 8% 6% 5% 4% 3% 0% Yahoo! BBC News Channel 4 Sky News LOVEFILM MSN ITV The Sun Facebook Sky Sports The Times Youtube The Guardian AOL BBC iPlayerSource: Yahoo! Shortcast research
a distorted market quality quantity free?Source: Yahoo! Shortcast research
2015: the consumer reality video users 3 times more likely to agree that we will have to pay for more online video contentSource: Yahoo! Shortcast research
what we did video audit video diary (75 ) observational (7) quant (2000) opinion leaders opinion leadersSource: Yahoo! Shortcast research
beyond demographics who genre device what where age when location publishers clip length how findability producedSource: Yahoo! Shortcast research
from traditional, to digital, to shortcast multimedia publishers more socialless social video publishers Source: Yahoo! Shortcast research
two distinct audiences, one shortcast opportunity multimedia publishers ad supported short form as higher quality, clips = better good as aged 25+ broadcast quality longer form more socialless social illegal sites = lower video online = under 25 good as quality, ugc money saver skew official sites video publishers Source: Yahoo! Shortcast research
brand safe environments multimedia publishers more socialless social video publishers Source: Yahoo! Shortcast research
the genre divide multimedia publishers sport news cookery lifestyle travel more socialless social ugc adult music virals comedy video publishers Source: Yahoo! Shortcast research
3 tiers of short form usage 70 64 63 60 50 status % 40 quo 39 38 30 20 17 13 10 the future 0 Laptop Desktop iPod Touch / Tablet PC Mobile Phone Games Console Computer ArchosSource: Yahoo! Shortcast research, % of video viewers who view short form weekly
the device effect most regularly later beginning and in the day, ‘stumble during working upon’ day, ‘seek out’ mainly iPlayer, usage mirrors 16-24 35-44 viewing with others 23% daily ABC1 personal laptop 27% daily start/end similar to mobile of day shorter clips – shorter clipsSource: Yahoo! Shortcast research % base amongst weekly
iPad… high engagement, with issues highly ‘easier to intuitive, enjoyable, navigate, watching with a high videos is great… quality – ‘beautiful annoying that not all will pieces of kit’ work’Source: Yahoo! Shortcast research
monday 10am – checking sport trailers current affairsSource: Yahoo! Shortcast research
wednesday 9pm – tired music cookery entertainmentSource: Yahoo! Shortcast research
saturday 7pm - relaxed music trailers tv clipsSource: Yahoo! Shortcast research
who what consumer shortcast where drivers advertising whenSource: Yahoo! Shortcast research
360O triggers sent music something listening info seek indulging in stumble upon ‘how to’ interests bored – seek keeping distraction ‘looped in’Source: Yahoo! Shortcast research
live is the aspiration sport clip viewing • time specific • place specific ‘wanted to see the goals… it’s much easier and quicker than MOTD’ (male, aged 45-54)Source: Yahoo! Shortcast research
homemade can be quality as if you were there nostalgia and novelty Adam (aged 16-24, Bristol) • very old clips, poor quality • in a band • part of their charm • frequent gig/festival goerSource: Yahoo! Shortcast research
when given the choice... ITV official website uploaded clip news story 42% 30% 28%Source: Yahoo! Shortcast research
audio = higher impact I will stop what I’m doing and turn on the sound on a video clip 26% agree 25% unsure 49% disagree video users 50% more likely to agreeSource: Yahoo! Shortcast research
how long: ideal ad lengths paid for advertising earned advertising TV ads tv sponsorship 30 second 1 - 2 mins max all TV ads & idents TV spot ads paid TV ad <10 seconds 10-30 seconds spot ads 1 -2 mins >2 mins online online ads bumpers earned media sought after high advertising 7 seconds quality advertising min. skippable 22 seconds contentSource: Yahoo! Shortcast research
interactivity needs clear benefits I would like to be able to interact more with the online videos I watch Click here for more 18% agree 41% unsure 41% disagreeSource: Yahoo! Shortcast research
dedicated genre environments create engagement I sometimes watch ‘related clips’ suggested to me by the site I am visiting Joe’s passion… football • while watching, he gets drawn in all video tablet video to supporting content • creates fixed times to watch 59% 65% football clipsSource: Yahoo! Shortcast research
0% 5% 0.15 0.25 0.45 0.05 0.35 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% 50% 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 40% 45% 50% 35% 0% 5% Beauty & fashion Beauty & fashion Beauty Home & garden Home & garden Home Health HealthSource: Yahoo! Shortcast research Drama / soap Drama / soap Travel Travel Cooking Cooking Male Autos Autos Celeb/ents Celeb/ents Documentary Documentary Female Science/tech Science/tech TV TV Sport Sport TV news Music videos Music videos music video Comedy Comedy News // current affairs News / current affairs News current sport Film clips / Trailers Film clips / Trailers Film comedy film stuff TV TV gender vs. genre Celeb/ents Celeb/ents Drama / soap Drama / soap Cooking Cooking Beauty & fashion Beauty & fashion Beauty Documentary Documentary Health Health Travel Travel Science/tech Science/tech Home & garden Home & garden Home Autos Autos
video choice overload – clip image and title decide deciding factors: 1. image 2. title 3. number of views ‘If a clip had more views, I’d watch it – people must have watched it for a reason...’ (female, aged 16-24)Source: Yahoo! Shortcast research
% of people who’ve not seen ads supporting genre clips under 10% film TV soaps/drama travel 10-15% autos celeb/ents home/garden health autos fashion/beauty music documentary 16-20% sport kids TV comedy adult 21 - 30%science/tech news viral ugc Source: Yahoo! Shortcast research
over 50% agree video ad volumes are acceptable too many ads ok amount of ads little amount of adsSource: Yahoo! Shortcast research
social: several touch points to media distribution I tell people about clips I have seen in person I forward links to video clips to friends, family members or colleagues via email I post video clips on word of social networking sites I email links to short mouth email clips to myself to watch later social 59% 37% 25% self 15%Source: Yahoo! Shortcast research
what is shortcast? a genre driven 22 secs... paid opportunity 2 mins... earned high quality, brand-safe experienceSource: Yahoo! Shortcast research