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The Social Effect: How Video Consumption Trends Have Changed

The pandemic changed a lot about how we consume media. Web traffic blew up, and content consumption saw dramatic changes. But we wanted to know: Is video content on the rise?

We surveyed thousands of people across the globe to find out. And in our recent study The Social Effect, we uncover how video consumption trends and habits have changed from 2020 to 2022.

How Has the Pandemic Changed Video Content?

Before the pandemic, video made up roughly 73% of all internet traffic. That number is expected to increase to 82% in 2022. Video traffic comes from paid on-demand services (like Netflix, HBO Max, etc.) and user-generated content (YouTube, TikTok, etc.).

Content Quality

There’s a wider acceptance of “lower-quality” content, especially among younger audiences. A study published by YouTube noted that “traditional, TV-era markers of quality are less important to viewers than they once were.” Factors like high production values or famous actors don’t impact viewers’ preferences like they once did.

Blurring Lines Between Social Media and Traditional Entertainment

As we observed in our CES 2021 Advertising Takeaways, more people turned to social video content for entertainment. That trend continues today. We found that globally, 56% of consumers turn to YouTube to relax and watch entertaining videos. Other users stated they watch video content to boost their mood.

Do Consumers Prefer Video Content?

Digital video consumption continues growing at an incredible rate. You can see this reflected in how much social video platforms have grown:

According to Hubspot, people are more likely to pay attention to videos. With other forms of content (like blogs, ebooks, and podcasts), they’re more likely to skim through it or multitask.

3 Video Consumption Trends Among Millennials and Gen Zers

Video consumption trends are rapidly shifting. In The Social Effect, we’ve uncovered some interesting details about digital video consumption, which you can learn more about by downloading the full overview.

1. Increased Desire for Variety and Discovery

One of the top reasons people turn to social is to discover something new, unusual, and surprising. In what we call “The TikTok Effect,” users crave an element of discovery with the content they watch. Platforms like YouTube, Meta, and Snapchat cater to this by feeding users new content based on behavior algorithms.

2. More Product Research and Shopping

More consumers use social videos to research a brand or product. Often, they make buying decisions based on reviews and demonstrations they’ve watched.

26% of users we surveyed use social video to learn about a product. What’s more, 22% have shopped for products via social video ads in the past three years and that number is expected to continue growing.

3. Improved Moods After Digital Video Consumption

Some people associate social media and online videos with laziness, regret, or lack of productivity. But as Google points out, “In times of uncertainty, digital video can be a wellspring of positivity.”

At the height of the pandemic, people watched YouTube videos to boost their mood. That trend continues, with 35% of adults saying they feel better after watching video content online.

How You Can Capitalize On Video Consumption Trends

Advertisers can take advantage of these video consumption trends by doing these two things:

You can work with a partner like Channel Factory to ensure your video ads are surrounding suitable content. Contact us today to learn more and get your best-performing ad campaign yet.

And if you want to know more about video consumption trends, download our complete overview of The Social Effect.