Online Video in 2016: Stats, Facts, and Figures

Megan O'Neill


2016 has come and gone, but with a new year (and new video marketing goals) just beginning, there’s no time like the present to take a look back at the past year. Last year at this time we took a look at some of the most impressive online video stats from 2015. Here are some of our favorite stats, facts, and figures that video had to offer in 2016 and what they mean for your strategy in 2017.

Online Video Stats 2016

Setting the stage for a video-first world

In 2015, we learned that video is the future of internet traffic and that consumers want and expect video from businesses. In 2016, the power of video continued to be touted. In Facebook’s Q2 2016 earnings call, Mark Zuckerberg said, “Ten years ago, most of what we shared and consumed online was text. Now it’s photos, and soon most of it will be video. We see a world that is video first with video at the heart of all of our apps and service.”

In the Spring of 2016, social media management tool Buffer shared findings that revealed that video gets the most engagement on Facebook, by far.

Buffer Engagement Stats

And businesses are seeing the effectiveness of video too. In our own study, the 2016 Social Video Marketing & Advertising Forecast, we found that 76.5% of professional marketers and SMB owners that have used video marketing say it has had a direct impact on their business.

Setting the stage for a world that’s mobile-first too

In 2016 Facebook put major emphasis on video, favoring the medium in the News Feed (as the above chart from Buffer shows), as well as investing a lot of resources in live video. But as we turn the corner into a new year, it’s not just video that Facebook is excited about. They’re also excited about mobile. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg named “capitalizing on the shift to mobile” as one of the company’s top priorities. “People have shifted to mobile and marketers know they need to catch up. Mobile is no longer a nice to do, it’s a must do, and we’re working closely with marketers to help them make this transition.”

“The best marketers understand that people watch video differently in mobile feeds. The goal is to create what we think of as thumb-stopping creative, videos that grab attention in the first few seconds even without sound.”

Stats from Vidooly, shared in an infographic earlier this year, support this shift to mobile:

  • 98 percent of millennials watch videos on smartphones, compared to 56 percent on computers.
  • 92 percent of mobile viewers share videos.
  • 52 percent of mobile traffic is a search for video.
  • 75 percent of smartphone viewers watch a video to completion, while only 25 percent watch videos on desktop to completion.

Embracing social media

In 2016, social media also revealed itself as a crowned jewel of video marketing. According to our research, Facebook and YouTube were the primary distribution channels for businesses sharing video content in 2016:

  • 40.1% of marketers and 40.3% of SMB owners selected Facebook as their primary platform for sharing video.
  • 26.4% of marketers and 18.5% of SMB owners selected YouTube as their primary platform for sharing video.

And these businesses are embracing video on social media because it works. According to recent research from Brightcove, “three in four consumers link social video viewing to purchasing decisions.” Here are some highlights from Brightcove’s research:

  • Almost half (46%) of viewers say they’ve actually made a purchase as a result of watching a branded video on social media and a third (32%) say they’ve considered making a purchase as a result of watching a video.
  • 81% of consumers say they currently interact with brands on social media and 43% say they’ve watched branded social videos.
  • When asked for their favorite type of branded content on social networks, video was the most popular answer, with 31% of respondents listing it as their number one.

Staying competitive

2016 also revealed that more and more businesses and marketers, large and small, are beginning to realize that they need video to stay competitive. According to our Social Video Forecast:

  • 1 in 4 marketers and SMB owners feel behind the competition when it comes to video marketing.
  • 34.1% of marketers and 27.6% of SMB owners listed “my competitors are using video” as one of their motivations for using video.
  • SMB owners and marketers view video marketing as a skill more desirable than email, design, or written marketing.
  • 42.4% of marketers and 31.7% of SMB owners listed video marketing as a skill they wished they, or their teams, were more adept at.

As a result, these businesses are making a point of investing more in video in the coming year:

  • 64% of marketers and 62.6% of SMB owners plan to increase spend on video in the next 12 months.

The rise of the DIY marketer

In a second 2016 report, Buffer revealed that “marketers want to be making more video but can’t.” They listed “lack of time” and “video is expensive to produce” as their top barriers to creating more video. Additionally, 83% said that, if they had no obstacles (time, resources, budget), they’d like to create more video.

Buffer State of Social Creating Video

The good news is, at least some of these marketers will start embracing video in 2017. 30% of marketers plan to add Facebook video to their marketing efforts in the next 12 months and 28% of marketers plan to add YouTube.

Part of the reason that these businesses are able to start embracing video is that it’s becoming easier and easier to make videos on your own. Following our own Marketing Video Builder release, our aim for 2017 is to help you make marketing videos for social media easily, using the photos and video clips you already have. Stay tuned to our blog for tips, guides, inspiration, and more. And join the Animoto Social Video Marketing Community on Facebook to find inspiration from other Animoto customers and get feedback on your own videos.