When it comes to video consumption, there’s no doubt that there are more people choosing to watch videos online than ever before. In addition to the silly movies that people can upload of themselves and their families, there is also the option of watching television shows and films – meaning that fewer people are watching shows live, as they are aired, than ever before.

The different ways in which people can watch videos is changing, too, with smartphones and tablets entering the market as key devices with regards to being able to watch your favourite videos online. Broadband is now of a high enough quality to mean that videos can stream largely uninterrupted, in comparison to the past where they would have needed a long time to load, with breaks in the middle of viewing whilst the internet loaded up more to watch.

A survey by Hyperfine Media, looking at how users in the UK are consuming video, has revealed that 41.6% of the British prefer to watch video on a desktop, and 32.3% prefer to watch on a smartphone. Just over a quarter of respondents (26.1%) choose to watch video online via tablets. There are also clear trends reflected in the various demographics that took part in the study.

When you consider the fact that not only can videos be used for entertainment purposes but also for businesses to aim advertising campaigns towards a specific target audience. It is important to understand the differences in viewing habits between the different demographics.

Although there is a drop in preference towards desktop viewing in general in comparison to previous studies, the extent to which this is the case changes depending on which age group you’re studying, and this means that you need to ensure that you’re looking at the correct information before you decide where to target an advertising campaign.

For example, the youngest demographic questioned, aged between 18 and 24, had a huge preference bias towards watching videos on smartphones, with just under half of respondents (47.8%) opting for this method of viewing. The desktop viewing in this demographic was 39.3%, and the least popular of the three was tablet viewing at just 17.2%. This is particularly astonishing considering the growth of tablet sales over recent years.

If, however, you take a look at the figures for the 65+ category, the figures are quite different. Smartphones received hardly any proportion of the vote at all, with just 10.5% preferring to watch videos this way. Surprisingly, this category was the one in which tablets were the most popular, with 38.1% opting to view videos on them. This may be because tablets are often remarkably easy to use – with users simply having to use their finger to press the option that they are searching for. Tablets are popular as a gift for this age category, as they can be purchased cheaply in many cases, and give the older generation the opportunity to take part in social networking activities that they may not find entirely as easy to get used to as the younger demographics.

Ultimately, by taking a look at the statistics, it is clear that there are key differences in age groups when it comes to video viewing on devices. For this reason, it is important that advertisers target their campaigns correctly, as this means that they will have the best possible chance of grabbing the attention of your target audience.


By Garth Haley, Corporate Videographer, Editor and Animator at Hyperfine Media.

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