Ooyala issued its Q2 Global Video Index Report this morning along with some product updates. Each quarter, the company dips into its deep stores of anonymized viewing data to offer a glimpse at how people are watching online video around the world. The big news in Ooyala’s fourth report is that video viewing varies in red states and blue states in the U.S.
Now, if you don’t pay close attention to politics, “red states” are the ones that the Republican presidential candidate won in 2008 and “blue states” are the ones that the Democratic presidential candidate won in 2008. And Ooyala found that “Blue State” viewers watch 26 percent more online video than “Red State” viewers (more below).
Get it? Got it? Good.
Q2 2012 Online Video Index report Key Findings:
Matt Pasienski, Ooyala's chief data scientist, briefed me about the announcements last Friday – under embargo. That gave me time to noodle the numbers before cranking out this column. But, before I share my thoughts on the political implications of Ooyala’s discovery, let me share three of the other key findings from the company’s Q2 2012 Online Video Index report:
- Around the World in 80 Plays: In Great Britain, 15 percent of the total time spent watching online video occurs on mobile phones and tablets. In China, this number is 11 percent.
- Live Video On The Rise: PC viewers tuned in to live videos for an average of 33 minutes in Q2 2012.
- Big Screens, Big Content: When using smart TVs, set-top boxes and gaming consoles, viewers spend 93 percent of their time watching movies, TV shows and other long-form videos.
The free quarterly report, derived from the viewing trends of 200 million online viewers around the globe from April 1 through June 30, 2012, also shows the lines between broadband and broadcast content continue to blur as premium content continues to shift to a more mobile, multi-screen media landscape.
Specifically, Ooyala data shows long-form video content like movies, sports and TV shows accounted for more than 60 percent of the total time users spent watching video online in Q2. The share of time tablet viewers spent watching long-form videos grew 47 percent in a single quarter.
“Ooyala’s data reveals that the way people watch TV is changing,” said Jay Fulcher, chief executive officer of Ooyala. “As more premium content becomes available online, more viewers are logging on, rather than tuning in, to watch their favorite programming on tablets and smart TVs. Consumers are leading the charge, and forward-thinking media companies realize that content is content, however it is consumed,” he added.
Red States vs. Blue States Video Viewing Trends
Now, let’s look at the political implications of Ooyala’s discovery that video viewing varies in red states and blue states.
A recent study by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism found that President Barack Obama’s campaign holds a substantial lead over challenger Mitt Romney’s campaign in using digital tools to talk directly with voters – bypassing the filter of traditional media. The Obama campaign posted nearly four times more digital content as the Romney campaign and was active on nearly twice as many platforms.
Now, the first impression that I got from this data was that the Obama campaign “gets it,” while the Romney campaign doesn’t. But, maybe both campaigns are just using the most appropriate media to reach a very different set of target voters.
Back in May 2011, the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that fully 71 percent of online Americans had used video-sharing sites such as YouTube and Vimeo. But if you drilled into this data, 92 percent of internet users who were 18-29 years old and 80 percent who were 30-49 years old had used video-sharing sites. By comparison, 54 percent of internet users who were 50-64 years old and only 31 percent who were 65 years old or older had used video-sharing sites.
And if the Obama campaign is targeting younger voters while the Romney campaign is targeting older voters, then maybe we shouldn’t be shocked, shocked to find that the Obama campaign has put more effort into the BarackObama.com channel on YouTube than the Romney campaign has put into MittRomeny’s channel on that video-sharing site.
Nevertheless, nobody is getting any younger. And since that’s where the demographic puck is going, how much longer can the GOP get by before it needs to close the digital gap?
Among those who’ve also spotted this demographic trend are the satirical folks at The Onion. They recently uploaded a fake news video entitled, “GOP Trying To Keep Elderly Voting Base Alive Until November.”
It’s funny … but it also makes you think.
Here's an info-graphic overview of Ooyala's Q2 2012 Online Video Index report:
The complete report can be downloaded here.