Are people watching videos during the day? At Work? Doesn’t everyone? Yahoo commissioned some new research to find out just exactly how consumers interact with online video including where, when and how much…So you’re an employer and you want to know what exactly your people are doing with all their time on a daily basis? Well Yahoo might have just done all the work on that one for you. A recent study found that 68% of respondents watch some form of online video during the day (and night, aside from dinnertime…no online video at the dinner table young man!). The point of the research of course wasn’t to nab people who are slacking off at work or sucking down bandwidth by watching video online (plus who cares if they use bandwidth, most companies have unlimited broadband connections, right?)

The data will really allow advertisers, marketers and ad networks to find new ways to measure engagement which means better tracking of what works and what doesn’t. That’s going to be quite helpful as online video advertising continues to grow. It also means that the industry will have better ways to promote online marketing to business large and small. Engagement is rapidly becoming the benchmark of online video campaign success and I think that’s exactly as it should be.

Really what this data does is opens the entire day, except for when little Johhny and the family are at dinner, to advertising because we know there is an audience. Perhaps we’ll see a more business-focused set of ads during the day when people are at work and a more consumer-focused set in the evenings. That would probably not be such a bad way to justify an increased expenditure in regards to online advertising. Show work-related ads to people during the day when they’re online but at work.

Spikes for men, women, students and full-timers appear from Noon until 3pm and again at 9pm until 1am. Dinner time was the low point from 6pm until 9pm. One third of respondents who watch video said they share it with someone in some fashion.

Their new plan for measuring engagement uses three main metrics: Video completion, Attention to content and Actions taken. If the video is watched fully they believe this to be a massive indicator as it was a consumer choice to start the video. However, this might not work in regards to video ads if you consider they’re pre/mid/post-roll. Attention to content is just strange and I’m not sure how they’re going to track that. Will they tap into people’s webcams and watch their eyes to make sure they’re actually looking at the video? No, of course not. So then aside from surveys and exit polls I can’t really see how this will be tracked. They state that the attnetion to the video will be compared to the attention given to people and tasks in the environment. Actions taken refers to, well, actual user interaction including such things as commenting, rating, sharing, pausing, stopping, playing, etc.

Of the three I would personally place the most signifigance on the Actions taken in regards to engagement, second I would say is completion of the video and the attention to content just seems mostly untrackable to me without having the users actually get involved in some sort of survey or polling.

Yahoo’s study also found that high engagement vidoe drives consumer behavior. WOW, there’s a shocker! (sarcasm) Get this, they also found out that high engagement levels meant high satisfaction for viewers, that’s just brilliant, we never would have figured that out without them. Basically a cooler video translates into a better impact on interaction, etc? I’m so flabbergasted.

In regards to this they said that a full 14% more people searched for more info on a product after watching a high engagement video for a total of 27%. Meanwhile 28% visited the brand or product’s website (up 18% from low engagement videos) and it accounted for 47% of ad recall. Common sense right? If your video is, as we’ve said all along, interesting, informative and professional it will be far more useful. Well at least we now have some ballpark numbers to run with that statement.

Overall I think the real value of the research comes in finding the peak hours of online video viewing and that means we, as an industry should be better able to target users at work versus at home. We know there are viewers and that means it’s worth placing ads during the day for specific products that have some business use. It shows that there is yet another way to better target your advertising outside of the standard demographics and geo-locations.