Study: Streaming Media Ads Pull in Buyers

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Internet Five, the newest Arbitron/Edison Media Research study, supports the growing perception among many Internet marketers that rich and streaming media advertising is more effective than GIF banners.

The survey, released last month at the National Association of Broadcasters Conference in San Francisco, indicates that 60 percent of users pay attention to streaming video advertising, compared with 46 percent for streaming audio ads and 41 percent for GIF banners.

Richness and effectiveness go hand in hand when it comes to online advertising, said Pierre Bouvard, executive vice president at The Arbitron Co., New York.

Increased acceptance of rich and streaming media advertising can be attributed to the growing number of users able to accept such media. The study reported the streaming audio audience has jumped from 14 million Americans in 1998 to 45 million this year.

Users of streaming media, the study referred to them as "streamies," spend more time on the Net and are more likely to make online purchases than Net users who don't interact with streaming media, the study said.

Streamies are worth their weight in gold to Internet advertisers, said Jason Hollins, director of survey research at Edison Media Research, Somerville, NJ. "The study shows streamies are more interactive [and] are apt to be better consumers," said Hollins.

Streamies are 50 percent more likely than other Internet users to have been online for three or more years. They spend twice as much time online daily and are 70 percent more likely to buy online, the study revealed.

Fifty-six percent of streamies make online purchases, compared with 33 percent of Internet users who have not used streaming media. Twenty-seven percent of streamies reported buying online within the past month.

Members of this group have purchased from an average of 6.6 Web sites and have spent an average of $768 online in the past year, compared with the 3.5 Web sites patronized and $598 spent online by users who have not interacted with streaming content.

Rich media will certainly be more engaging to the streaming media audience than banner advertising, yet 40 percent of this audience has never seen a streaming video advertisement.

Because of this, Hollins recommends advertising executives start buying into rich Internet content. "We're suggesting and recommending companies start producing richer advertising content," he said. "This needs to be pushed forward."

Internet Five contains data from 17,708 respondents who answered questions at the Web sites of 33 U.S. radio stations and during a telephone survey in July. It is the fifth Internet marketing study Arbitron/Edison Media Research has published since 1998.

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