Vimeo’s “Online Video Viewing and Purchasing” Study Unveils Insights for Creators Selling Their Work

The online video landscape has changed drastically in the last few years with a significant increase in online video consumption thanks in part to improvements in overall video quality, an abundance of online content creators, and the proliferation of Internet-connected devices in the market. As overall online viewing continues to increase, so has consumer willingness to pay a premium for content, as reported by proprietary research conducted by Vimeo in partnership with Latitude, an international research consultancy.

The study, titled “Online Video Viewing and Purchasing,” looks deep into the consumption habits of online video viewers today versus just one year ago and unveils nine insights into the purchasing habits of digital video content viewers to help filmmakers market and sell their work more effectively. 

The Online Viewing Landscape

More than half of all respondents reported spending more time watching online video than watching TV each day, and two-thirds agree that many online videos are the same or better quality than what’s on TV. Now, thanks to Internet-connected devices and smart TVs, viewers are open to watching longer-form content the study reports, with the frequency of viewing holding fairly constant for varying lengths of online content after the five-minute mark.

Nine Insights Into a Viewer’s Purchasing Habits

People are spending more $$ on online video: The study found that viewers are paying more for online content than ever before; the average viewer says they are spending $32 monthly on transactional video on demand (TVOD) content and subscription video on demand (SVOD).
Viewers will pay double or more for longer form content: As video length increases, viewers expect, and are willing, to pay nearly double what they’d pay to buy a short-form video.
Pre-order alone isn’t enough: For the vast majority of viewers, the decision to rent or buy is made within 24 hours of when they’re going to watch; so having pre-order set up in advance is not necessary unless there’s a specific reward for viewers who purchase in advance, such as bonus features, or a lower introductory price.
Having both Buy and Rent options is optimal: The decision to buy or rent most often comes down to the number of times the video will be viewed. And interestingly, millennial males say they prefer to buy, rather than rent content.
Accessibility of content is key: While the majority of respondents still purchase online video content on their desktop, they are consuming the content everywhere and view it as important to have content accessible across all screens. And for owners of connected TV devices, these platforms are the preferred way to view online content.
Niche content is worth a premium: More than half of respondents are willing to pay for niche video content that is tailored to their specific interests, and existing Vimeo users segmented within the study are more likely to pay for action sports, fashion, gaming, travel and art than the typical online viewer.
Ad-free viewing is also worth a premium: Three-quarters of consumers would be willing to pay for an ad-free viewing experience, though the price of that experience remains the core driver of that decision.
Viewers will pay more to support creators directly: Nearly half of the respondents would rather pay for online video on a site that gives a larger share of the revenue to the creator, director or filmmaker, and this skews even higher (71%) for the average Vimeo user.
Word of Mouth is still key, but curation is increasingly important for content discovery: 65% of those surveyed discover new content through friends and family, but 42% are more willing to purchase content that’s been recommended by a platform; 70% of Vimeo users surveyed were more likely to pay if something’s been recommended by the site.

About the Study

Vimeo’s “Online Video Viewing and Purchasing” research study was conducted in conjunction with Latitude and surveyed a national sample of 1,000 Americans. The research was conducted using qualitative and quantitative analysis. Respondents were recruited through a national panel, balanced 50:50 between male and female, and split evenly across 18-34 and 35-54 age groups. All recruits watch online video (five or more minutes in length) at a minimum of 2-3 times per week, and at least 15% use Vimeo monthly or more frequently.

About Latitude

Latitude is an international research consultancy helping clients create engaging and inspiring content, software and technology experiences. Combining innovative techniques, proprietary in-video feedback software (Lumière) and strategic insight, Latitude provides knowledge, expertise and visible opportunities for companies leading the way in video, mobile and social innovation.
Jessica Casano-Antonellis
About Vimeo
Vimeo empowers creators to tell exceptional stories and connect with their audiences and communities. Home to more than 60 million registered users and viewers in over 150 countries, Vimeo provides a powerful platform to host, share and sell videos in the highest quality possible. Founded in 2004 and based in New York City, Vimeo is an operating business of IAC (NASDAQ: IAC). Learn more at
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