In June 2015, Verizon Communications Inc. acquired AOL for $4.4 billion. In July 2016, the company announced its intention to buy Yahoo! Inc. for $4.8 billion. In Q1 2017, Yahoo! and AOL will become the platform with around 225 million users per month. How can Verizon’s AOL-Yahoo create and distribute video content that consumers will engage with? Let’s check out some of the research.


Why Consumers Watch Videos

Some time ago AOL conducted a global research across markets in Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, the U.K., and the U.S. People’s impression of specific forms of content (article, video, or blog post) was introduces as “content moments”. It resulted in revealing eight kinds of emotions that drive internet users: Be in the Know, Comfort, Connect, Entertain, Feel Good, Find, Inspire, and Update Socially. In total AOL analyzed over 55,000 such moments.  This research focuses on why people engage with content. We can see how a target audience’s age, gender, and geographic location influence the video content marketing strategy. Here are the key points and takeaways for brands:


Top Content Moments Across Markets


  • The most popular “content moments” are InspireFeel GoodEntertain, and Update SociallyThey are the most popular in all 8 countries. Moreover, the content moments that Entertain (15 mins on average) and Connect (17 minutes on average) dominate.
  • Length of content moment depends on a kind of device. In fact, consumers prefer larger screen sizes. For instance, in the U.S., consumers are spending an average of 11 minutes per content moment on smartphones and tablets, 12 minutes on computers, and 19 minutes on game consoles.
  • Consumers in the U.S. are spending less time engaged with content than consumers in other countries. Consumers in the U.S. spend 12 minutes in an individual Content Moments, compared, for example, to 16 minutes in Brazil.
  • Content moment types vary according to the time of day.  Users spend much more time at night than in the morning.

Video Marketing Insights

Analyzing users’ behavior, not just characteristics, can bring brands and agencies closer to understanding a consumer’s propensity to make a purchase. Yahoo! and Nielsen & Hunter Qualitative collected some strategic insights to different pre-roll and native video ad formats. They surveyed 13,600 people of 18-54 y.o. (6,400 PC users and 7,200 mobile users), 50% males and 50% females.

Here are the key points:

  • Optimize your content for mobile screen. Video marketers should optimize their video ads for screen alignment. So, think about how your target audience is more likely to hold their smartphones to watch your videos: vertically or horizontally. P.S.: More than 9/ 10 mobile users will hold their devices vertically.
  • Change tone of ads. Brands and agencies should try to employ different ad tones. For instance, use comedic, emotional ads to appeal to the audience, or informational ads to drive the purchase.
  • Use traditional ad lengths for pre-roll. Video marketers should use 0:15 and 0:30 ads in pre-roll formats. Studies show that this particular length is the most effective.
  • Use Calls-to-Action and Brand anytime. Brands and agencies should be sure to include CTA’s in their video ads (e.g. URLs or hashtags). Moreover, marketers should feel free to introduce the brand at any point in the video ad.
  • Use Bigger logos. Logos in many mobile video ads are small and hardly visible. So, it’s important to make them more catching users’ eye.


To sum up, today YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram remain the top video platforms. Brands and agencies should take it into consideration. They also should take a closer look at Verizon’s integration of AOL and Yahoo! These video platforms sooner rather than later will become a surprising source of strategic insights, critical data, tactical advice, and significant trends in the digital video marketing business.

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