Online news video survey says…

…long and high quality is better.

Screen Shot 2015-09-01 at 5.30.05 PMResearch published in the Newspaper Research Journal, “Longer, Higher Quality Videos Preferred by News Viewers” had several key findings:

  • Viewers preferred high-quality videos over low-quality videos. (Not exactly a big surprise!) While prior research indicates that people can tolerate lower-quality videos if they like the content, this study suggests viewers “would not tolerate content they found uninformative, bad, not enjoyable or not worth recommending to others.”
  • People liked longer videos better than shorter ones. Long videos averaged 2.08 minutes in duration. (But wait — 2:08 is long?) Short videos averaged 24 seconds.
  • When both quality and length were considered, people preferred long, high-quality videos to other types of video, including short, high-quality ones.
  • A video’s quality influences what audience members think of a news organization, and having longer videos heighten that perception.

As the Shorenstein Center piece citing this research suggests, there is a perception in the industry that shorter is better in online video; and though a 2:00 local TV news package would be considered long in many TV stations, I’m not sure that that’s what most people mean when they talk about lengthy videos.

This is good research to add into the mix, but the debate isn’t over in my view.