Corporate Eye

Online Content Consumption Shows No Signs of Slowing Down

content marketingContent marketing is so hot right now that every brand is trying to figure out how to become an online publisher. Unfortunately, most are still struggling because they’re trying to fit traditional push marketing techniques into the pull marketing environment of the web. Since consumers’ demand for online content continues to grow so quickly, even brands that are publishing inferior content are reaping benefits simply because they’re “in the game.”

Research from JZ Analytics puts some numbers to online content consumption among American internet users. In a November 2011 study for Broadcom, JZ Analytics found that one out of 2 people who responded to the poll indicated that they consume at least 12 hours of digital content per week, and nearly 9 out of 10 survey respondents consumed 11 hours or more of online content per week. Americans are consuming online content (including online content and email) both at home and at work.

Here is the breakdown of the time per week survey respondents spend consuming online content:

  • 40+ hours per week = 15.1%
  • 31-40 hours per week = 16.0%
  • 21-30 hours per week = 23.0%
  • 11-20 hours per week = 32.7%
  • 10 or fewer hours per week = 12.2%
  • Not sure = 1.1%

Online video continues to be one of the fastest growing forms of online content in terms of consumption rates with web-based streaming services from user-created content sites like YouTube being the most popular forum of online video for American internet users. 58.1% of respondents to the survey indicating that they watch content on these sites, while 38.3% claim to watch streaming video content embedded in other sites (such as blogs and Facebook — note that some of that content is likely to have originally been published on YouTube and similar sites). Web-based streaming video content of television programs and movies offered on sites like Hulu, Vudu, and Netflix were viewed by 36.0% of survey respondents, and 19.3% viewed video downloads such as iTunes TV shows and movies.

Just 26.6% of American internet users who participated in this study indicated that they do not watch online video content of any kind. However, this number will continue to decrease for the foreseeable future, so it’s not surprising that brands are focusing on video in content more than ever and that eMarketer cites online video as the fastest growing online ad format in the United States. What is surprising is that some brands aren’t creating online video or any other kind of branded online content yet.

Image: Ramasamy Chidambaram

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.