The WSJ reported on Wednesday that online video viewing over the last year has begun shifting from the lunch time daypart to the coveted primetime daypart. Online primetime viewing rose 14% to an average of 62.4 million viewers over the last year according to Nielsen.
While network programming from Hulu certainly helped, the article credited the jump primarily to independent original web series and networks like blip.tv and Revision3. Revision3's CEO, Jim Louderback attributed its share to the 40% of its audience watching on connected devices like Roku while blip's CEO Mike Hudack argued it was the rise in quality and length of programming. The average length of blip's episodes is up to 14 minutes from 6 minutes a year ago.
Mike also posted yesterday on blip's blog further sharing his excitement that blip is also close to reaching 100 million views per month. This despite the fact that its web series are produced on a fraction of Hollywood's typical budgets (his estimate is blip's shows cost one-tenth of 1% of Hulu's). Mike's argument underscores the democratization of media underway. The Internet allows hardworking entrepreneurial content creators to work successfully far outside the world of Hollywood's ecosystem to create great content and gain sizable audiences.
Add in this week's NewFront and it's clear that independent original web video is uttering a battle cry for legitimacy. As devices and platforms that blur the line between online video and television continue to emerge, this trend will further accelerate, potentially positioning indie online content as a disruptor to traditional programming.
VideoNuze is the authoritative online source for original analysis and news aggregation focused on the burgeoning online video industry. Founded in 2007 by Will Richmond, a 20-year veteran of the broadband, cable TV, content and technology industries, VideoNuze is read by executive-level decision-makers who need to get beyond the standard headlines and achieve a deep understanding of online video’s disruptive impact.