The growth of the internet and the increasing power of mobile devices have a led to a tremendous growth in the number of online videos available, as well as a growth in the number of people who watch online video content. To figure out what all this means for consumers and business owners, BrightCove an international survey to measure the effects and effectiveness of social video.

In a survey over 5,500 consumers, the Science of Social Video has found that people spend an average of six hours a week watching video content on social media networks.

One thing the survey makes clear is that American consumers love their social videos and watch them often. Of the five countries surveyed, American consumers watch online video the most per day. Consumers in the U.S, average 60 minutes per day watching online video.

Our nearest competitor was Australia, where they watch 51 minutes per day. For a little more context, on the other end of the spectrum, the average French consumer only watches 37 minutes of online video per day.

The people who took the survey noted the increase in their online video consumptions habits and noted that they were likely to follow the trend into the future. Two-thirds (67 percent) of respondents said that their daily online video consumption rates had increased over the course of the past year. Similarly, three out five respondents (60 percent) said that the increase was likely to continue to rise.

The increase in social video consumption is great news for social media marketers. Videos are a good to way to spread information about a product or service. They are also useful for improving brand awareness. So more people watching branded content on social media will benefit the business producing the content in several ways.

The benefits of social video go beyond improved awareness. The BrightCove survey also highlights how social video can impact purchasing decisions, with nearly half (46 percent) saying they had made a purchase as a result of watching a branded video on social media, while just under a third (32 percent) had considered doing so.

The researchers at BrightCove point to data from HubSpot to provide additional support for their claims on the importance of online video. In a press release about the power of social video, BrightCove notes "59% of users would rather watch a video than read text-based content and 51% of marketers named video as the content with the best ROI capabilities, it is clear that video marketing is not a trend but a necessity."

All of this data points to the continued growing importance of online video for advertising and marketing. While video content can be more challenging to create than written content or static images, business owners shouldn't shy away from the chance to advance their business. The data shows it is certainly worth the effort.

For more recent research that can make you a better marketer, read this article on how the digital revolution in marketing may leave older customers feeling left out.