Consumer Receptivity to VEVO Music Videos

Know When to Show 'Em, Know When to Hold 'Em

David Guetta limelight
The Coca-Cola Company

Most people enjoy watching videos on their digital devices. Research indicates that the amount of time people spend watching video is increasing markedly. The democratization of video technology makes it possible for anyone who has a smartphone to make and share videos. Marketing and advertising people are being increasingly sophisticated in their use of entertaining videos. And the feedback loop for video quality is rapid, with great videos going viral in a matter of hours, and sometimes in minutes.

Even though marketers and advertisers are confident that they know a good video when they see one, they may not be getting the most bang for their buck. Market researchers at VEVO, have learned some important information about viewers receptivity to music videos.

Before progressing to the research, herein is a short profile of VEVO which is certain to clarify why VEVO would be interested in ensuring that they know when viewers like to see videos. VEVO is a leading entertainment and all-premium music video platform. Here all the locations that VEVO states the platform is available: "the United States, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Spain and United Kingdom through, the mobile web, Mobile and Tablet Apps (iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone, Windows 8, Kindle Fire), Connected Television (Xbox, Roku, Boxee) and user embeddable video players." As if that weren’t enough, there is also "VEVO TV, an always-on broadcast-style music and video channel, is also available in the US and Canada within and apps for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Windows 8, Kindle Fire, Xbox and Roku.

VEVO powers music videos on artist pages across Facebook, as well as syndicates to dozens of online sites, including AOL, BET, CBS Interactive."

Convinced That VEVO Knows Video?

Apparently, VEVO knows how to conduct primary research, too. At recent market research event, Stephanie Fried of VEVO illustrated the importance of doing genuine research by providing a brief case study about an investigation the company conducted on how our brains respond to music videos.

The study outcomes provide neuroscience data-based insights into the best video environments for music videos.

Advertisers study the types of memory that people use when they recall the story line or contents of commercials. Explicit memory can be measured by asking viewers what they recall about a commercial. But implicit memory – can’t be measured using traditional methodologies. Approximately 80% of our memory is of this implicit type.

You Put a Spell on Me. Now You’re Mine.

VEVO conducted a primary research study design in a home environment in order to replicate the environment in which most videos are viewed and to isolate the research from variables that might confound the results. Four types of video clips were used in the study:

  • Music video
  • Online TV – clips
  • Online TV – full episodes
  • Conventional TV –full episodes

One hundred five people (N=105) participated in the study. Of this sample, 55 participants viewed the online video clips, and 50 participants viewed the videos on a traditional TV set. The study respondents were asked to nominate their music video “favorites” in order to eliminate the problem of not liking a music video as a compounding variable with respect to watching and appreciating the ads.

The aspects of the videos that the study was designed to measure were categorized as being content data or ads data. In the content measurement category, respondents were studied with regard to their engagement and their perceptions of the emotional intensity of the content. For the ad measurement component of the study, respondents were studied to learn about their long-term memory encoding, and for the salience of the ad. Long-term memory encoding has been shown to correspond to purchase behavior. Salience is a measure of favorability.

The study findings indicate that online TV is earned the top ratings for engagement. The variables measured included which videos or ads people watched (variable = chosen), if viewers paid attention, if viewers understood the plot, and if viewers were engaged with characters.

The TV viewing that occurred in a conventional manner - on a couch - brought about different reactions. Traditional viewing of TV clips and music videos on a TV required – less attention. Viewers did focus more when they watched TV or videos on their computers. Music videos were rated high on emotional intensity by participants, but TV and online TV were rated fairly high on emotional intensity, also.

Ad Break Memory Encoding

A phenomenon called ad break memory encoding was studied in this primary research by VEVO. Music videos show overall stronger significance in memory encoding than TV and directionally stronger than online TV ad breaks. Ads are an interruption in TV viewing and they tend to contain more clutter, too. The memory encoding detail of ad break memory indicates that TV clips diverge from the similar global or detail memory trend overall. The result is that viewers tend to perform better on detail memory encoding. When measuring participants’ attention when viewing online TV and music videos, the researchers found that people tune in the most just when the music starts and that the viewer's attention increases when people are talking onscreen.

The study indicates that engagement for traditional TV and online TV follows opposite trends. Engagement with the TV viewing increases and engagement with online TV decreases through the show. This pattern of engagement was very distinct with respect to regular TV viewing and online TV viewing. Engagement lessened toward the end of a show when viewers watched regular TV. But engagement lessened toward the beginning of the show when viewers watched TV in an online environment.

A variable known as salience – which is a measure of favorability - was also studied. When viewing online TV clips, respondents had a slightly negative perception. When viewing online TV shows, respondents still experienced negative salience. The salience variable was the most significant for TV clips, with music videos showing the next highest level of significance. The study demonstrated that emotional intensity drives much of the TV viewing. Viewers were seen to disengage from online TV ad breaks. Whereas, music videos and conventional TV translate high program performance into strong ad break performance.