Webcasts more popular and ‘more useful’ than audio-only

Dec 10, 2015
<p>Using live video to illustrate earnings increasingly preferred by audiences, finds study</p>

Webcasting may be the best way to deliver earnings release news, according to a recent study in which almost half of the buy side respondents say video webcasts are the most useful way to receive such information.

The survey, carried out by Investis, finds that 48 percent of the UK’s buy side prefers seeing earnings news to hearing it, while the average audience size for video webcasts has increased by 37 percent in the past year (compared with a 2 percent increase in audio audiences).

Investis’ research also shows that results webcasting is most popular in North America, where 90 percent of respondents broadcast their earnings, though almost all of these are audio-only. In the UK and Asia-Pacific a smaller proportion of companies webcast their earnings, but far more of these employ video (38 percent and 46 percent, respectively).

The report picks out two contributing factors to this increase: changing earnings call audiences and changing buy-side attitudes to the technology.

The average size of audience for results webcasts has increased from 152 people in 2014 to 172 people this year – a rise of 13 percent. This increase is most notable among financial institutions (up 15 percent), private investors (up 18 percent) and any internal viewers (up 22 percent).

Among buy-side respondents to the Investis research, 46 percent say they find video webcasts more useful than live audio content covering the same data. Only 6 percent consider audio more useful, and 44 percent state no strong preference. 

‘The message underlying the data is overwhelmingly clear,’ the report states. ‘Video results webcasting may be more expensive than audio but it is good value for money because your messages – good or bad – are delivered in the most effective way in the format your primary stakeholders want.’

Moreover, the report says interested parties are almost twice as likely to sign up for an audio webcast as an audio webcast. Almost two thirds (65 percent) more will watch a video earnings release live, and 110 percent more will watch it on demand, too.

As time passes, it appears audiences given video content are growing faster than those offered audio. In 2014 choosing to offer video over audio saw audiences increase in size by 56 percent; in 2015, this has resulted in a 111 percent growth, with similar patterns seen among different types of viewers.

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