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The Daily Stream

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Trends in Women's Online Video Consumption

November 30, 2010 // By: Stream Companies

An increasing number of individuals in the US are viewing online video content, many of whom are women from the ages of 25-44.

The Nielson Company recently worked with TODAYshow.com to find out what factors motivated women to watch online videos.

While observing women’s online habits, Nielson Company discovered 4 relevant themes

  • Women’s video habits are largely based on life stage and daily to-do lists, rather than age or employment status.
  • Digital mindsets change throughout ones day and vary according to factors such as time, mood, and location.
  • The social value of video has been increasingly important; some women largely favor links suggested by friends.
  • Emotional factors impact viewing which affects the type of content consumed.

“This research is incredibly powerful in giving us deeper insights into how our audience consumes online video,” said Jen Brown, Director of strategy and development for TODAYshow.com.

Online Video Habits

Working women with children were surprisingly strong users of online video even though they may have less time on their hands than stay-at-home women.

Also, women from the ages 35 to 44 showed stronger digital activity than the younger women in the study. Therefore, video consumption in the workplace may be more common than some predicted.

One woman in the study indicated that shorter videos could be more popular for some, “We generally watch short videos anywhere from one minute to five minutes.”


Video Content throughout the Day

Nielson uncovered that minsets for watching videos change throughout the day. The morning is a time for informational content such as news, weather, and social networking.

Later in the day there is a shift to functional or entertaining content. Content may include games, how-to videos, shopping deals and so on.

Social Media & Video Sharing for Women

This past August, streaming video content from social media sites was up nearly 50% from last year.

Over 25 million women streamed videos. When received from friends, videos were considered to be of higher value than those sent from other sources.

Emotional Triggers & Video Viewing

The study ultimately found that women watched entertaining content more than anything else. For women aged 25 to 54,  Nielson reported that entertaining content accounted for 76% of their total video streams.

Women were also known to look for videos that were happy to brighten their spirits.

Can Online Advertising be Entertainment?

Many women in the Nielson Company’s study were reasonable about online advertising, finding it to be a necessary way to reach consumers. A 27 year old single woman stated that she thought many commercials could be quite entertaining.


Nielson’s work with TODAYshow.com was successful in uncovering the motivating factors for women watching online videos in the US.

It will be interesting to see how and if women’s habits change as time progresses and as online video streaming becomes increasing popular.

For more information on digital trends and news, please contact us at StreamCompanies.com

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