Online Video News Search Study – Is The Business Case Made?

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Search Optimizers and other online professionals looking to develop a business case for marketing news video should find some assistance with DoubleClick Performics’ recently released survey report, ““Searching for Online News.”

The report consists of survey findings among 500 consumers conducted in mid-May, offering a look into how consumers interact with online video news – more specifically, how they search for it, how they engage with it, and how effectively they find the news video relevant to their search experience.

The key findings from report can be summarized as such: There is a significant use of the Internet for video news viewing, consumers rely heavily on Search to find news online, and video with news search makes for higher engagement levels with consumers.

Before getting to the search-specific data in the report, let’s first take a look at what the survey reveals about general consumer activity with online news video:

Quantity – while three-quarters of respondents still primarily watch video news on television, one-quarter of respondents watch video news primarily online.

Frequency – one-half watch at least one hour per week of news video online, and nearly one-quarter watch 3 or more hours of video news online per week.

Embedded video in news stories – 35% of respondents described themselves as “Very Likely” to watch a news video that is embedded in a news article that they are reading.

Demographics – those who watch news in video form on the Internet are more likely to be female and in the 18-34 age group.

Now, on to the search data…

Search and discovery – 61% use Search half or more of the time to find news on the Web. Over one-half actively search for a news-related video using Search at least some of the time.

Clickability – over one-third are highly likely to click on a video in the results of a search for news and watch embedded videos within online news stories. 36% of respondents described themselves as “Very Likely” to click on a video that is listed on a search engine results page while searching for a news story.


For relevance of news video in search results, the percentage findings appear to be an even match:

  • One-third find a relevant news video “Almost/Every time” for their query when using Search
  • One-third find a relevant news video for their specific query on their first search “Almost/Every time”
  • One-third find the most up-to-date news video for their specific query on their first search “Almost/Every time.”

Most Popular Web Sites for News Search

77% of respondents go directly to a news Website (such as, Google News, Yahoo! News, etc.) to find news on the Web, with CNN and Google are in the top echelon of most popular news sites.

(% of use by public)

  • (57%)
  • (53%)
  • (41%)
  • (40%)
  • (31%)
What wasn’t identified here, which would have been helpful, is segmenting video news viewing figures on each of these sites, so as to determine what news sites do a better job of consumer engagement with video-specific content (which is supposed to be the point of the study).

Consumer segment wants more video in search results

One-third of respondents “Agree/Somewhat Agree” that they would like to see more video search results when searching for news on the mainstream search engines.

How to make a better business case with online video and news search

The report provides a good first-look at the gauging a specific target consumer audience with pairing online news video and search. However, If Double Click Performics’ wants make a better business case however, I would recommend they consider adding the following elements to their report:

No comparison of consumer experience with text-only search results. Being that the majority of news results in the search engines and news Websites are text-only, this would have provided for an effective comparison and contrast with the predominant form of search results.

Make distinctions and comparisons on content-specific news. (Business/Fiannce, Community, Sports, etc.) Not all types of online video is meant to be engaged in the same way. Making these content distinctions would allow for better conversion matches, which is important to any business goals.

Include geo-targeted video news. While one data point listed 79% of respondents to use Search to find local news and that nearly half rely on a local news station name when searching for local news, no information was provided in the report on video-specific news search and results, just search in general – which, would seem to overlook the point of the study. With localization and personalization providing such a strong consumer impact on their own, it would make sense to tie the effects of online news video with these facets towards a business case.

Better audience segmentation with personas. While the study mentions that “statistical testing was performed to uncover meaningful differences between cells and subgroups,” all of the segmentation appears to be top-level distinctions, without funneling any data with these subgroups, which could be used to build a persona of the most highly engaged user of news video online. (For example, a gender-specific/ethnographic/demographic/content-specific/income model.) Having a specific persona or personas would help define and humanize the target consumer to businesses.

Report analysis – good start, room to do better

Being the first report of its kind for such a specific subject, Double Click Performics does a decent job targeting three potent marketing areas – video, news, and search – and measuring the engagement levels with a general consumer audience. They can do a better job with further audience research and better segmentation and included that in a revised report. That should not be looked at as a setback for Double Click Performics, but an opportunity to effectively make the business case for online news video with the vast majority of organizations who are more inclined now to take a further look and be persuaded.


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