Audience Insights, Trends & Insights

Audiences Want Video…But Do They Want News Videos?

By Alexandra Nicholson | Mar 9, 2016


There’s no doubt that people are consuming more and more video, but is it all funny cat videos they’re watching? With the wide variety of video content available, it’s important to understand how audiences are responding to each type. As Daniel Kahneman’s bestselling cognitive science book Thinking, Fast and Slow proposes, the human brain tends toward efficiency and, dare we say, “laziness.” Our brains prefer to consume video content over text because it can be processed quickly without much effort. Although some people prefer to read the news rather than watch it, an increasing amount of consumers want news videos to enhance and complement their news experience. Chartbeat collected data about consumption patterns for news videos across sites of more than 50 publishers to find out the affect of news videos on viewership. So how are audiences responding and reacting to news videos?

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Viewer Response

According to a study by DePaul University, greater vividness in a news video increases how credible both the video and the news site are perceived to be.

Viewer Loyalty

  • News video viewers are more likely to revisit a site than visitors to a regular page without video.
  • Viewers are significantly more likely to return and watch another video during the next month if they watched for more than 15 seconds or watched multiple videos during their first site visit.
  • Chartbeat found that the percentage of returning viewers doubled, from about 3% to 6%, for those who initially watched 1 or 2 videos, and continued to rise to about 9% at 6 videos viewed.
  • They also found that the percentage of returning viewers increased steadily with the amount of initial view time, from roughly 2.5% at 30 seconds of view time to 7% at 500 seconds.

Video Engagement

  • 15% of total engaged time by all site visitors was spent on video content, but regular video viewers spend a whopping 54% of that time on video.
  • Viewers spent 3.6x more time per video than per article.
  • More than half of visitors to an article page spend less than 15 seconds engaged with its content, but only 19% of video viewers spend less than 15 seconds watching a video.
  • Desktop and mobile each account for 45% of all video views, with the remaining 10% on tablets.
  • Desktop views peak during the morning and early afternoon, while mobile views peak during the late evening.
  • Average Engaged Time was highest on desktop computers (with an average of 160 seconds per view), followed by tablets (86 seconds) and mobile devices (68 seconds).

Not only are viewers consuming more news videos, many are choosing news videos over text. Engaging, fast, and vivid videos are powerful tools, for both consumer and publisher, in this explosive era of informative media. Facilitating the news experience, videos enrich published content and compel modern viewers to keep watching.

Alexandra Nicholson