45 Million Viewers Per Month Watch Original Professional Digital Video Programming, According to New IAB Research

Ad-Receptivity Ratings on Par with Primetime Television

NEW YORK – The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has released “45 Million Reasons and Counting to Check Out the NewFronts,” an in-depth research study focused on the growing reach and impact of digital video – revealing that original professional online video (OPOV) captures the attention of 45 million U.S. viewers per month.


“It is very exciting to have the opportunity to benchmark viewing levels to original professionally produced online video as the ad marketplace is evolving”

“Consumers are rapidly turning to digital video for entertainment, news and information, and advertiser demand to reach this growing audience is expanding in kind,” said Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO, IAB. “The wealth of original professional digital programming being presented at the Digital Content NewFronts is evidence of the public’s hunger for new, compelling content available online. It is a watershed moment. And, this study provides valuable insights that can help marketers take advantage of this momentum, and effectively tap into the evolution of the digital video platform as a central hub for must-watch original programming.”

The study was conducted in partnership with GfK and surveyed over 2400 people, representing the U.S. adult population, in order to identify and question over 1000 avid video viewers that screen programming across various platforms. The results clearly demonstrate that original professional online video programming is hitting strong benchmarks when compared to traditional television. Receptivity to marketing messages during OPOV was directly in line with consumer ad receptiveness while watching primetime television programming on a regular TV set. Plus, those surveyed who view both primetime TV and OPOV cited viewing new, unique content and flexible screening times as preferable aspects of OPOV over primetime television viewing.

“It is very exciting to have the opportunity to benchmark viewing levels to original professionally produced online video as the ad marketplace is evolving,” said Sherrill Mane, Senior Vice President, Research, Analytics and Measurement, IAB. “It is particularly telling that this kind of programming is attracting a large following – 45 million already – while also bringing viewing experiences and ad receptivity that compare favorably with regular TV.”

The demos also speak to the appeal of original professional online programming, with younger adults 18-34 (31%) and males (24%) exhibiting markedly higher OPOV monthly viewing levels.

When it comes to which digital device consumers use to watch this type of video, laptops (used by 50% of monthly OPOV viewers) were far and away the favorite pick, followed by:

  • Desktop computers (39%)
  • Internet connected TVs (27%)
  • Smartphones (26%)
  • Tablets (23%)

No matter which device consumers choose for streaming purposes, the majority (89%) of OPOV viewing happens at home. The same goes for the viewing of user-generated content (UGC) and traditional TV programming online (88% vs. 93%).

Looking at how social media channels are leveraged during viewing, the research finds that OPOV and UGC viewers (41% vs. 56%) tend to integrate social media much more within their online video experiences in comparison to those watching TV online (35%).

To download the entire “45 Million Reasons and Counting to Check Out the NewFronts” study, go to: www.iab.net/DigitalVideo45


For this study, GfK screened 2,425 people from the general U.S. population, age 18+, as monthly+ viewers of online video and “ever” users of “TV online,” “UGC” or “original professional online video” (OPOV). Full surveys were ultimately completed with 1,005 monthly+ viewers including: TV online – 705 ever users/495 monthly+ users; UGC – 913 ever users/724 monthly+ users; and OPOV – 727 ever users/441 monthly+ users. The study was conducted March 19 – 24, 2013, via a 23-minute online survey using GfK KnowledgePanel®. KnowledgePanel is the only online research panel recruited using an address-based probability sample, offering higher quality and more reliable results than volunteer, opt-in samples.

About GfK

GfK is one of the world’s largest research companies, with more than 12,000 experts working to discover new insights into the way people live, think and shop, in over 100 markets, every day. GfK is constantly innovating and using the latest technologies and the smartest methodologies to give its clients the clearest understanding of the most important people in the world: their customers. In 2012, GfK’s sales amounted to EUR 1.51 billion. To find out more, visit www.gfk.com/us or follow GfK on Twitter: https://twitter.com/GfK_en.

About the IAB

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is comprised of more than 500 leading media and technology companies that are responsible for selling 86% of online advertising in the United States. On behalf of its members, the IAB is dedicated to the growth of the interactive advertising marketplace, of interactive’s share of total marketing spend, and of its members’ share of total marketing spend. The IAB educates marketers, agencies, media companies and the wider business community about the value of interactive advertising. Working with its member companies, the IAB evaluates and recommends standards and practices and fields critical research on interactive advertising. Founded in 1996, the IAB is headquartered in New York City with a Public Policy office in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit www.iab.net.