Videos take off in the pandemic. 2020 recorded significant growth in video consumption compared to the previous year, especially in correspondence with the two lockdown phases (March-April and October-December) as evidenced by Sensemakers, a consulting company in digital marketing, which presents the results of a study on the growth of online video consumption and on the evolution of the sector in the year of the pandemic.
The average time per person spent in the use of digital videos (via smartphones, PCs and tablets), however, increased more than proportionally to that of linear TV with the growth differential which was accentuated especially in autumn. 2021 opened with a trend in line with the previous months and, on the average time per person in January, there was a + 52% Y / Y for digital video compared to + 11% for traditional TV. Analyzing the universe of individuals who view digital videos at least 2-3 times a week, it emerges that 80% habitually watch the contents offered by SVODs (+ 7 percentage points compared to the June survey) while it amounts to 64% (+ 5 percentage points compared to the June survey) the percentage of regular users of AVOD content. In the seven months between the first and second survey, viewing frequency has also increased with 39% of heavy users watching digital videos several times a day and 25% doing it at least once a day.
The data from Auditel’s Digital measurement also confirm the trends: from the y / y comparison in the period June-December 2020 vs June-December 2019 (the Auditel browser survey started in June 2019 to which the measurement in the App was added in December 2019 ) overall views grew by + 63% and the related time spent by + 136%.
On the average day of all 2020, the views were equal to 38,520,602 and the time spent to 2,242,465 hours, with a significant increase in the average day of the last quarter of the year with 46,377,300 views and 2,859,818 hours of time spent.
In 2020 SKY recorded the highest market share on views 47% followed by Mediaset 36% and RAI 12%; the analysis for Time Spent, on the other hand, highlights the leadership of Mediaset 38%; second place by RAI 32% and third by Sky 25%.
In comparison with the observation period (June-December 2019), the most significant growth in views is that of RAI with a + 166% while on the time spent it was SKY that recorded the greatest increase with a + 177%.
In streaming, films and TV series are mainly watched (with percentages over 50%) followed by entertainment and sports content. This ranking reproduces the penetration levels of the main players and their specializations on certain types of content.
The choice of contents for the SVOD services is guided for 39% by suggestions and recommendations of the platforms and for 32% by the advertising promotion of the so-called “Hero Titles”. Catch UP TV, or the desire to review a program, is the main driver (36%) for the selection of content offered by AVODs.
The Auditel data also confirm the high levels of engagement for “long-form” content, as shown by the growth in the consumption of so-called Full Content (ie integral content such as full episodes of reality TV or episodes of fiction). In the observation period June-December 2020 vs 2019, the consumption of Full Content (which overall in 2020 represent 16% of total views and 73% of the time spent) grew by + 236% or a higher percentage than the consumption of Clips + 37% and Extra Content + 31%.
The fact that this is no longer a mere “Catch up” use or the recovery in the following days of views that did not occur on traditional TV is demonstrated by the analysis of the so-called seniority of the contents. In fact, 44% of the contents used in 2020 were viewed more than 2 weeks after their publication, while 46% of the Full Content was viewed after more than a month from the date of publication.
The balanced mix of types of content displayed (original, integral and clips), together with the discovery of the breadth of the libraries, should guarantee significant growth rates also in the coming months.
In streaming video content viewing, the importance of Connected TVs is growing. The latter are in fact used by 78% of heavy users with even higher percentages on the most valuable socio-demo segments for advertising investors: 35-44 years old, with cohabiting children, high level of education and income, residing in large urban centers. Connected TVs also absorb over half (52%) of the time spent viewing streaming content.
Another distinctive element is that connected TV is viewed together. It is in fact the vehicle with the highest percentages of shared vision ever: 70% in the presence of another person, 32% of which even with 2 or more people.
The nature of the contents viewed (TV series and films), the medium-long visions (now longer than an hour), the evening use on the main screen (mainly in the living room) characterize CTV as a new “home”.
Between the second and the first lockdown, the approval and propensity to subscribe both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video has further increased, with average ratings for both above 8.
Cost factors represent the main selection criteria for the use of both SVODs (value for money at 39%) and AVODs (free at 50%). But, while the propensity to spend overall increased from 23.7 to 27.2 euros a month, the maximum number of subscriptions that one is willing to subscribe remained stable at 2.3. This circumstance, together with the growth of competition and the phase of economic difficulty, should encourage the adoption of mixed business models (based on subscription and advertising fees), also because 59% of heavy users would be in favor of the inclusion of advertising against a reduction in subscription costs. In this perspective, the possibility of connected TVs to provide a profiled and more interesting adv for the audience represents a great opportunity.
“In recent months we have been witnessing the increase in the use of video streaming services and the consolidation of the changes in user behavior that the pandemic has accelerated” comments Fabrizio Angelini, CEO of Sensemakers. “The strongest sign of novelty is represented by the growth in consumption in streaming on connected TVs, which favors increasingly advanced forms of use of digital platforms and the emergence of new competitive dynamics”.