IAB: More US adults turning to ‘original digital video’ for entertainment

More than 20% of American adults watch original digital video (ODV) – like “House of Cards,” on a monthly basis, a 15% increase from a year ago, according to a new study from IAB.

And, said IAB, nearly 1-in-four respondents said they watch ODV because they don’t have a pay-TV service, up 10% from a similar survey a year ago.

The research, the IAB “2014 Original Digital Video Consumer Study,” also estimated that nearly 30% of U.S. adults also watch TV online.

ODV was defined as professionally produced video meant for online distribution, including content like Netflix Originals, Funny or Die, and Wall Street Journal Live News, for example.

IAB said its survey found that ODV carries the perception of being more innovative, edgy, unique and mobile compared to traditional TV, and is almost at a parity with Primetime TV as the video type most likely to be watched.

About 40% of adults, up from 32% a year ago, said they watch more than one ODV in a sitting, with 33% saying they use ODV to “unwind.”

IAB said original digital video increasingly is being seen by consumers as a “fresh new way to consume quality programming,” with users describing it as more credible, normalized and mainstream in its content and ideas.

Four in 10 survey respondents said watching programs on their own schedule was the top driver for ODV use.

IAB said viewers said their perceptions of ODV are more favorable than a year ago, and that they saw original digital video as filling a different niche than TV.

They described TV viewing as a commitment and ODV as a treat or a break, associating it with a sense of increased control they lack with traditional TV.

Other findings:

Younger adults (39%) and males (25%) report higher ODV viewing.

Most original video viewing (65%) takes place at home, although 87% say they watch it when they travel.

Smartphones (46%) and tablets (41%) are being used at 2X the level of a year ago.

Read the full study here.

Stay tuned.

Jim O’Neill is Editor of Videomind and Principal Analyst at Brightcove. You can follow him on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn