Online video FAQs

I get asked the basic questions about online video all the time. I thought it wise to make one place on my blog where you can always come to see what latest stats I have uncovered either through my own work at Forrester Research or from interesting players in the space.

Last updated: October 11, 2008

How many people watch online video?

  • As of summer 2008, 64% of online people in the US watch video online in a typical month.
  • That translates to 117 million online video viewers ages 13 and up.
  • The average viewer watches 56 minutes of online video a week.
  • Therefore, in a typical week, 109 million hours of online video are watched.

How much is spent on online video ads?

  • If every hour of video has an average of 10 ads in it (video or companion banner), that means that just over 1 billion video ads are served each week, a run-rate of nearly 57 billion ads a year.
  • Forrester forecast at the end of 2007 that in 2008, online video ads would generate $989 million in revenue.
  • To hit that forecast, the average CPM on the 57 billion ads displayed has to be $17.45 

What about online TV show viewing?

  • At the end of 2007, 24% of online video viewers watched full-length TV shows online.
  • I have gone on record saying that 45% to 50% of online video viewers will have watched a TV show online by year-end.
  • That will be just more than the number of people who have a DVR, making the Web the dominant way people watch TV shows on demand, ahead of DVR and VOD.

Is TV going away?

  • TV still wins: the average adult watches 28 hours a week (I know, right? Who are these people?). This means that online viewing is 1/28th of that, or 3.5% of viewing for the typical online viewer.
  • The average daily TV viewing has actually risen in the last few years, beyond the 4 hour a day limit that held for a decade prior.
  • This all suggests that people watch more TV thanks to online video rather than less. Wow, if only the music industry had been so blessed…

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