40 Percent Frustrated With Video Search

I’m generally suspicious of surveys that say things you’d expect them to say by the company that commissioned them. In this case, ClipBlast — a video search site – sends word of a survey covering frustration with video search. Still, I’ll pass along some stats and the press release, for what they’re worth.

The key question was "Things Liked Least About Video On The Web," asked of 1,000 Americans this month. The findings:

  • 32 percent said web video had too many commercials
  • 20.7 percent said difficult to find quality video productions
  • 19.3 percent said difficult to find what they’re looking for
  • 16 percent said too chaotic, too many videos to wade through
  • 12 percent said there’s too much user generated content to wade through

ClipBlast is pushing a 40 percent "frustration" figure, adding together the two stats about search frustration I noted above.

The release below plays up the need to have the right video search technology. My Video Search Challenge Isn’t Speech Recognition, It’s Content Owner Management article from earlier this week pokes at some of the technology assumptions, suggesting the challenge is more about making sure the right commercial content can easily be found.

The stats can be read either way to support or dispute that. The biggest problem in terms of finding wasn’t sorting through too much stuff but rather locating the "quality" stuff. But then again, only 21 percent said that was the biggest problem. Overall, I don’t think the survey asked the right questions (or if it did, they aren’t in the release below), for me to draw big conclusions. Here’s the release:

Video, video everywhere – and not a clip to link?

According to a new nationwide online survey conducted by market researcher Synovate for ClipBlast! (www.clipblast.com), the premier Internet-wide video-search platform, that’s where Americans find themselves – awash in online video but all too often left high and dry when looking for something specific. By a wide margin, Americans are having a tough time locating the video that they want on the Web: fully 40 percent agree that the quest for video online is "frustrating" or "inconsistent."

Conducted in February, the survey asked 1,000 Americans what single thing they liked least about video on the Web. Four respondents in ten called the process "frustrating – it’s too difficult for me to find exactly what I’m looking for," or "inconsistent – it’s too tough to find quality video productions." Another 32 percent described Web video as "too commercial – there are too many video ads." While 16 percent agreed with the statement that "it’s chaotic – there are too many videos to wade through," just 12 percent complained about "too much user-generated content to wade through."

"Overall, while consumers have embraced online video, they’re concerned about the frequently daunting process of locating the videos they want to see," said Gary Baker, CEO, ClipBlast! "It’s a variation of the tree falling in the forest. It’s easy to find video online, but finding the right video – the video you want, when you want it – remains an obstacle for many. In fact, video search is both different and more difficult than text-based search. The lesson for our industry is that we must do a better job helping consumers understand those differences, and in developing powerful tools that enable consumers to search, browse and save the video content they care most about."

The survey results echo a report issued last year by Forrester analyst Josh Bernoff, which noted, in part, "online video content is exploding at an incredible rate… but finding what you want is hard."

Web Commercials, Anyone?

Americans aren’t having any problem finding video ads online — and some are none too happy about that. Nearly 32 percent of respondents say there are "too many video ads." The key 35-44 demographic (41 percent) is especially concerned about the "commercial" nature of online video; those over 55 (27 percent) and 18-24 (28.5 percent) are relatively less troubled.

Ironically, according to Baker, Web video advertising is in its infancy, in part because placing video ads is itself a challenge.

"Ultimately, advertising will win the day as the means for generating revenue – the TV model will translate online, so paid access won’t be the way," he said. A recent JupiterResearch report notes that interest in video delivered over broadband is growing among consumers, but that strategies for building a business around the Web-based content remain elusive. According to Internet CacheLogic, by 2010 more people will turn to the Internet for video content than all other distribution sources combined; today, video content represents a full 60 percent of all traffic on the Internet.

Interestingly, while video sharing sites continue to expand at a rapid clip, Americans don’t appear put off by the sheer number of clips to view; just 16 percent agreed that "there are too many videos to wade through." Those in the 45-54 age bracket were slightly more likely to regard the online video environment as "chaotic" (20.5 percent).

What about homegrown video? Not surprisingly, given the popularity of YouTube and MySpace, just 12 percent of the sample agreed that there’s "too much user-generated content to wade through." While those over age 65 had a relatively greater problem with user-generated content (17 percent), everyone else is taking it in stride. Among those 18-24 — presumably at the center of the user-generated movement — just 9.5 percent took issue with the proliferation of homegrown clips, but those 55 to 64 were even more enamored of user-generated video (with just 8.5 percent dissenting).

Searching for Patterns

The prevailing attitudes on video search cut across most demographic groups, with a few notable variations:

  • Among the 55-64 age group, that feeling of being a bit lost is even more acute – nearly 50 percent acknowledged frustration in searching for video on the Web or called the process of locating quality video online "inconsistent." Indeed, there’s concern at both ends of the age spectrum. Those 55-64 have the hardest time getting the video they’re seeking (29 percent). And while those 18-24 have relatively less trouble finding what they’re looking for (12 percent), 30.5 percent of that group describes the process of finding quality online video as "inconsistent."
     
  • The more affluent you are, the less likely it is that you’ll find the search process vexing. Those with household incomes of less than $25,000 expressed the highest level of frustration (44 percent). For those with household incomes in excess of $75,000, that figure fell to 38 percent.
     
  • Frustration levels are shared regardless of how much education you’ve had. While those with a high school education or less aren’t finding what they’re seeking (45 percent), neither are those who have had at least some graduate school (42.5 percent).

The survey has a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.

Related Topics: Channel: Video | Search Engines: Video Search Engines | Stats: Search Behavior

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About The Author: is a Founding Editor of Search Engine Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search engines and search marketing issues who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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