Entering the YouTube Zeitgeist

We know the global importance being paid to video, but what about in Australia. What kind of video content are people watching, when are they watching and on what device? At Fresh Focus, have spent the past 12 months getting under the skin of smartphone users and the role of mobile in the path to purchase. We now want to bring this same level of insight to video content.

The Study

Fresh Focus conducted a 5 minute online survey of n=1040 Australians aged 18-70 years across different locations and ethnic groups The aim of the survey was to understand short-form video content consumption patterns.

The survey was carried out through the Pureprofile online panel. Survey participants were given a brief definition of the term ‘short-form video content’ and then asked to respond to a series of questions.

The Findings

1 in 4 Australians claim they constantly watch short-form video throughout the day. This means they are engaging with different types of video content multiple times a day. 

18-44yr olds are 4 x more likely to always watching video content than their older counterparts. Not a surprising figure but one to be mindful of when planning and future proofing your marketing strategy. What role will video content play in delivering your message?

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18-44yr olds are 4 x more likely to always watching video content

Non-Europeans are 2 x more likely to constantly watch. We know from other studies that streamed content, particularly on YouTube through anime, vlogging and online soap operas, which is how many migrants stay connected with their home countries and in their natural language.

While the median Australian from the 2016 Census born overseas was still born in England, there most interesting shift comes from NSW and Victoria where the typical resident who was born in NSW now comes from China rather than England, which was the case in 2011. Further, in Victoria the typical Australian born overseas now comes from India which wasn't even in the top four list even 10 years ago.

3 out of 4 Australians consume short-form video on their smartphones.

This clearly has implications for production quality, how data-rich the clip is and where it’s being viewed… is it being viewed by a white collar worker who has choices about what device he uses – whether it’s a mobile, laptop, tablet or desktop. Or is it a tradie who has only one choice during the day – and that is his mobile.

YouTube and Facebook are now the two players fighting for eyeballs. Whilst YouTube is no surprise it is interesting to see Facebook having such a significant presence. In fact, it is the dominant channel amongst female viewers and millennials, particularly Europeans.

What are they watching?

Humour and entertainment lead the most watched categories. How to videos – which have now become a genre in their own right, mirrors the global trend of consumer empowerment. Music, movie trailers and of course news clips. Breaking announcements are more likely to be watched through Facebook than on the 6pm news.

Also, rising content genres are product reviews, unboxing videos, product demos and marketing promotions. This clearly represents a significant opportunity for brand marketers being able to create affordable and highly personalised marketing campaigns for niche audiences, which was impossible in the era of broadcast television.

It also overcomes one of the main barriers about online shopping – that consumers feel they don’t get to see or understand what the product is going to be like. Now they can find out before they click to buy.

A day in the life of video content


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Early morning and catching up on what you missed over-night with news updates, sports highlights and interviews. No more breakfast television.

Looking throughout the day or bored at work and researching/reviewing the next product you are going to buy. We know from our mobile research, that online research is a significant part of the sales funnel and for males, shortcuts their time in store.

For white collar, autonomous workers and students they can look at video all throughout the day, but for blue-collar workers and those in less autonomous jobs i.e. call centres or healthcare workers, we know that lunch and break time is when they catch up. The digital smoko.


But it is when viewers get home that usage spikes. They are on free wifi, often faster than what they can get during the day, there are no interruptions and they can spend 1-2 hours uninterrupted viewing. This is video primetime and for millennials and non-Europeans, this now replaces traditional broadcast media as their source of entertainment.


It also goes one step further and becomes personal development and upskilling time with how-to videos, genre-specific vloggers and product demonstrations.

3 in 10 listen with headphones on, which is not unusual but those that constantly watch video content are just as likely to listen with headphones as they are off. Just something to think about with production, sound and how much more personal the story can be with headphones on.


3 in 10 listen with headphones on

We wanted to understand how this medium can be used as an advertising/promotional channel. With 1/3 of Australians choosing to watch sponsored content – it signals an opportunity for brand marketers…particularly if marketing to women who are significantly more likely to click through.

1/3rd of Australians will always or sometimes watch the full ad before skipping which again presents a unique opportunity to have that one on one, tailored conversation with your audience on a specific channel.

So what does this all mean for marketers?

  1. Short-form video content has arrived and presents significant opportunities for brand marketers

  2. Reach non-Europeans through non-traditional media. Social media channels offer the unique ability to have a direct conversation with this increasingly powerful buying demographic.

  3. Video now plays an increasing role in the consumer path to purchase even if you can’t always attribute it to a sale.

  4. Our ever-evolving relationship with video continues to impact how brands are and should be communicating with customers

  5. Make every brand experience significant - make it easy to find your product/services with video and tell your story through this powerful medium.

About Fresh Focus

Fresh Focus is not a traditional agency. Fresh Focus is collective of senior researchers, marketers and strategists. We believe that there’s no shortage of data telling businesses what is happening, but we think you need to dig deeper and understand the why.


Nichola Quail