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School of Business | Department of Marketing | Marketing | 2015
Thesis number: 13938
Online video consumption practices: Studying Finnish viral video mavens
Author: Tammisto, Noora
Title: Online video consumption practices: Studying Finnish viral video mavens
Year: 2015  Language: eng
Department: Department of Marketing
Academic subject: Marketing
Index terms: markkinointi; marketing; mainonta; advertising; viraalimarkkinointi; viral marketing; media; media; sosiaalinen media; social media; visuaalinen; visual; internet; internet
Pages: 91
Full text:
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Key terms: online video; viral video maven; online video advertising; viral marketing; viral advertising; electronic word of mouth; practice theory
Online videos are being actively and in increasing amount consumed by modern day consumers, who benefit from an almost unlimited choice of online videos available. Moreover, online videos are not confined by time and place, allowing them to reach geographically dispersed audiences quickly. The fast diffusion of online content occasionally creates shooting stars of online video - viral videos. In viral marketing, like in online video advertising, consumers are harnessed as the distributional force of online content. This means that the diffusion of promotional messages is practically free for marketers. It is no surprise that marketers are eager to benefit from viral opportunities, which has led to an increase in online video advertising spending. If executed successfully, online video advertising can provide marketers with cost savings, better campaign reach, reduced advertising avoidance and earned publicity for the brand. Overall, online video consumption has experienced significant growth in the past years and it is estimated to continue to do so in the future.

Previous studies in the fields of viral concepts are mainly quantitative in nature and focus on fine tuning factors that are most likely to create viral success. The purpose of this study is to fill in the gap in previous studies by describing how online videos are actually used by consumers. More specifically, my study focuses on the hard-core users of online videos, termed as viral video mavens. In focusing on viral video mavens, my study provides practitioners and scholars in-depth knowledge about the distributional force of viral marketing. Narratives were collected in eight semi-structured interviews and a realistic approach was taken to interpret the stories. The interviews were analyzed using the theoretical lens of practice theory.

This study finds that the use of online videos is a highly routinized activity among Finnish viral video mavens. The main contribution of my study is the identification and description of key online video consumption practices. The findings are organized into four thematic groups, which refer to different ways of using online videos: loitering, learning, social interaction and controlling. Although the themes are overlapping and intertwined, certain practices occured together more often than they did with others. Additionally, my study discusses the underlying understandings, explicit rules and teleoaffective structures that essentially link sayings and doings. These social codifications are important elements as they guide the way practices are carried out. Overall, my findings should provide useful insights for marketers that are interested in promoting products and services through the use of online videos.
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