The fact that mobile video is becoming a more important part of the online video ecosystem certainly doesn’t come as a surprise, but the fact that it is doing so at such a fast pace is, well, impressive at the very least.
One of the big players in the online video world, Ooyala, just released its Q2 2014 Global Video Index Report, with insight into the rapid growth of mobile video consumption.
The findings indicate that in the past year, mobile video viewing has more than doubled, from 11% of all online viewing to more than 25%, a 127% increase. And the pace of growth appears to be accelerating. By the beginning of 2016, the viewing of online video on mobile devices is on track to make up more than half of all online video views.
One of the main factors contributing to such rapid growth is the shift toward smarter technology and bigger screens that make the viewing experience not just bigger, but richer.
“Bigger, higher resolution screens are a great philosophical validation of what we stand for in mobile: the highest quality video and highest impact user experience, writes Will Kassoy on the AdColony blog.
“We think bigger screens with even better resolution will translation to more content consumption and more immersive mobile experiences. As trends indicate, this uptick in content consumption will be primarily video based. Better videos with more pixels and stunning HD picture will allow for even deeper messages and experiences from brands.”
Other factors helping spur such rapid growth include:
- An increase in the amount of video content available for mobile devices
- Increasing deployments of TV Everywhere by operators and direct-to-customer deployments by content owners, focusing on mobile devices
- An increasing understanding that younger users are looking to their mobile devices for much of their video entertainment
- Faster, more robust networks available across the world
The report also provides some noteworthy insight on consumer behavior. Research shows that viewers look to big screens for big chunks of entertainment. Consumers with connected TVs spent 81% of their time watching videos longer than 10 minutes. On tablets, viewers spent 23% of their time watching videos between 30 and 60 minutes in length, more than on any other device.
The study also underscores the smartphone’s use as a “snacking tool.” While the increasing size of mobile phone screens — and the quality of image they deliver — is helping those devices make significant headway in the realm of consuming content longer than 60 minutes, the shorter videos are still its sweet spot. Viewers spent 45% of their time watching videos of six minutes or less in length on their mobile devices. And videos from 1-3 minutes long get the most play regardless of devices.
In a special section of the report, Ooyala takes a playful look at the potential impact of weather on multiscreen viewing habits. Using Boston as the representative city, the report compares how consumption during a week of cold, rainy weather compared to usage on a warm, sunny week across the same set of video providers.
The results showed, perhaps not surprisingly, that during the week of warm weather, traffic as measured in the number of plays across all devices was up about 8%, with a boost of 23% on smartphones and a 10% bump in tablet plays.
In regards to the more inclement weather, there may have been fewer video plays on all devices, but overall video engagement still surged. In the case of desktops, viewing time climbed nearly 40%, while time watching video on tablets increased 5%. Only mobile saw a decline in viewing time, about 3%, leading to the assumption that smartphones are more commonly used for short video “snacking” in any type of weather.
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