Jake & Amir vs Glee: Users Choose Web Series As More Engaging Than Television

Do you prefer to watch original programming on the web than on television? New research from Next New Networks, YouTube and Frank N. Magid Associates shows that not only are more and more people watching original web video content, but online viewers are more engaged than television viewers.

The research on viewership of web original content, which was released earlier this week, quotes results from the National Sample of monthly online video viewers. The main insights into original web content viewership were as follows:

  • 60% of online video viewers watch original web video content on a weekly basis
  • 58% see this original web content as “providing quality entertainment whenever they want it”
  • More than a quarter of these viewers say that original web video content is more entertaining than traditional television content

The research also showed that these viewers of original web video content were more engaged than those watching traditional television. Only 37% of online viewers surf the web while watching content, whereas 60% of television viewers surf while watching TV. Only 28% talk to others while watching online, while 52% of TV viewers engage in conversation with others while watching. Only 19% of web viewers do things around the house while watching, compared to 52% of television viewers.

Additionally, original web series and online content is shared a lot more often, with 4 out of 10 viewers sharing videos with their friends. 37% share videos via email, 36% post videos to Facebook or MySpace, and 10% share videos on Twitter.

I think it is important to note that these levels of engagement may have something to do with the mediums themselves. For instance, television is frequently left on in the background, to keep people company while they do chores around the house, have company over or surf the web. It would be interesting to see if surfing, talking and doing chores would be quite as popular for viewers who are watching one of their favorite series on television. Additionally, it can be difficult to surf the web and do things around the house when you are watching video content on your computer, as you can’t often turn the volume up as loudly as you’d like and you may have to minimize the video window in order to surf to other websites.

That being said, I think it’s clear that web video is on the rise. More and more people are taking advantage of the fact that web series afford online viewers the opportunity to watch video whenever it’s convenient for them, and consume video content that is very different from traditional television shows. Do you feel more engaged when watching original web video content than traditional television? Do you see more and more viewers making the jump from television to web in the future?

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