NEW YORK, Dec. 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- As COVID-19 continues to transform the way consumers are interacting with media, TheSoul Publishing, one of the largest independent digital studios that produces entertaining, positive, and original content for a global audience, surveyed more than 2,000 men and women ages 16-55+ in the United States to understand how the pandemic has altered viewing habits and preferences for digital content. This new research reveals an outsized preference for positive content amid the pandemic, as respondents indicated that music videos (38%), comedy (36%), cooking or baking (33%), and DIY or crafting videos (29%) were the most frequently selected categories of short-form -- less-than 10-minutes long -- videos consumers are watching more of now versus six months ago.
Short-form video content was growing in popularity before the pandemic hit, with younger audiences in particular flocking to a variety of streaming and social media platforms. However, the pandemic has served as a catalyst for massive growth of the medium, as a whopping 84% of audiences cited spending more or the same amount of time watching short-form videos during the pandemic than before, with many using these quick videos to help them adjust to and cope with disruptions to everyday life. For example, nearly 30% of Americans stated that they watch positive online video content to improve their mood, while 26% said they watch for inspiration for ideas and projects and 19% said they watch to escape from the news of the day. Most expect this trend to continue, with 78% of consumers agreeing that fun and positive online video content will become an even more important and popular source of entertainment in the future.
"It's interesting to see that it's not just any short-form video that's resonating with the American audience right now. It's really positive content that has taken the spotlight, becoming the popular form of escapism and a welcome source of entertainment," said Victor Potrel, VP of Platform Partnerships at TheSoul Publishing. "For content creators and brands looking to get in front of shoppers around the holiday season, there's a lot that can be learned about what is more likely to resonate and break through."
Beyond Americans' preference for positive short-form content, the study surfaced a variety of trends that illustrate how online videos factor into their everyday:
Digital Distraction: Since lockdown restrictions were set in place, statistics show that more than two-thirds of consumers in the U.S. (69%) are spending between 30 minutes to three hours watching short online video content.
Gen Z Loves to Binge: Gen Z respondents are big short-form video bingers, with 32% of respondents stating they watch 2 hours or more on a daily basis. Comedy was found to be their favorite type of short-form content (62%), which correlates with the 32% of respondents in this age category stating they view positive online videos to improve their mood.
Finding Happiness with New Hobbies: As restrictions limit consumers' dining and entertainment options, 86% of Americans have watched a YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or TikTok video for home project inspiration, crafting ideas, DIY activities, and/or cooking. Cooking/baking (44%) and DIY/crafting (41%) ranked among the top categories of consumed content viewers are watching as opposed to six months ago.
Music is a Universal Escape: 59% of respondents selected music and music videos as one of their favorite types of short-form content, with comedy-related content following closely behind (59%). These findings illustrate the link between new habits in video consumption with the lack of opportunity for in-person experiences (i.e. concerts, festivals, etc.).
Bigger Screens Could Make a Comeback: More than half of Americans (56%) believe that they will primarily be watching short online video content (shorter than 10 min) on their phones in 2021. 18% believe they will primarily use their computer, 11% say a tablet, and 7% plan to watch mostly on a television. Less likely are smartwatches (2%), glasses (2%) or VR headset (2%). However, trends may be shifting with mobile phones in terms of time spent watching short-form content on a particular screen, with 63% of Americans watching via phone now versus 56% of the population that expects to be using this medium in the future.
Online Video "Shareability" has Little to do with Length: A mere 8% of Americans said that an online video being short is the most important indicator of its shareability. Topping the list at 38%, the largest amount of American consumers believe that a video being interesting makes it most shareable. This is followed by the content being funny (21%), relatable (18%) or helpful (12%).
Short-Form is the Future: As U.S. consumers have grown accustomed to trusting short-form content to improve their moods and maintain a healthy lifestyle, this data shows that 83% of consumers will continue to watch at least as much or increase their consumption of short-form content in 2021.
About TheSoul Publishing
TheSoul Publishing is an independent digital studio that produces entertaining, positive and original content for a global audience. One of the world's most prolific and popular online media companies, TheSoul Publishing reaches hundreds of millions of Facebook followers and YouTube subscribers. Their globally based creative team continuously and consistently delivers engaging and irresistibly shareable content for all ages — in 19 different languages — distributed via a social media-driven cross-platform network.
From handy life-hacks to clever craft projects, from head-turning beauty tips to brain-twisting puzzles, TheSoul Publishing's portfolio of media brands emphasise the positive, the practical, and the purely entertaining. Their most-viewed channel, 5-Minute Crafts, is the No. 1 DIY digital brand in the world and ranks among the Top-5 of all YouTube channels.
TheSoul Publishing's universe of well-known channels, including Bright Side, 123 Go!, Avocado Couple, La La Life, Slick Slime Sam and Teen-Z, satisfy their viewers' curiosity on a vast array of topics through a combination of live-action video, vibrant digital animation, and family-friendly stop-motion.
Current initiatives include expansion across additional social media and streaming platforms — such as TikTok, Instagram, Snap, Roku and Amazon Prime — as well as continued growth of their extraordinary global production team, to provide their fans more of the content they crave and love.
TheSoul Publishing has garnered numerous accolades including a 2020 Streamy Award nomination (Best Brand Engagement), multiple Cynopsis Digital Model D Award wins (Best Digital Consumer Brand - TheSoul Publishing, Best YouTube Channel - 5-Minute Crafts) and nominations (Best Branded Content Marketing); and is a MarCom multi-Platinum award winner (Best Social Campaign, Viral Marketing Campaign).
SOURCE TheSoul Publishing