Online video viewing on mobile devices will overtake desktop viewing by Q4 2016

30.03.2015 14:44

ADI: Mobile Quickly Becoming The
Video-Viewing Platform Of Choice


Adobe Digital Index (ADI) has released its “Inaugural Video Benchmark Report” (PDF), which, according to the data, predicts that online video viewing on mobile devices is set to take over desktop viewing by Q4 2016.


The implication for marketers, according to ADI, is that mobile video advertising could be a big opportunity in the near future, as consumer eyeballs increasingly flock to smartphones for video viewing.


In its research, ADI found that mobile viewing has steadily continued to increase its share of video views, with smartphone share up 75% year-over-year (YoY) in 2014, to 14%, and tablet share up 50% YoY, to 12%. This growth can be attributed to changes across the board from increased access to new mobile devices, to improved mobile connectivity and networks, to the sharp rise in mobile-friendly content, per ADI.


Additionally, larger-screen devices—such as the iPhone 6 and 6+—have given mobile video completion rates a boost. According to ADI the new iPhone release in Q4 2014 increased the percent of videos reaching the “halfway” point of 7% over Q3 2014.


Larger-screen devices are also increasing overall time spent viewing online video. This, too, is a big win for mobile video advertisers; it means more of their video ads will be seen. Smartphone viewers are spending 24% more time per month, quarter-over-quarter (QoQ). That said, it must be remembered that total time spent viewing video content on a tablet is still twice as long as time spent on a smartphone, while desktop time spent is 14 times longer, ADI pointed out.


“There’s no doubt that mobile devices are becoming a better environment for digital advertising,” said Tamara Gaffney, principal analyst at ADI. “We already see that mobile cost-per-click rates are up as a result of the bigger-screen phones. These devices have a lot of benefits for mobile advertising from a pure real-estate perspective. We’re now seeing the same thing in video. People are watching more video via their devices, and the larger form factor is even driving them to watch videos all the way through.”


ADI’s report is based on 191 billion total online video starts and 2.67 billion TV Everywhere authenticated videos during 2013 and 2014. The analysis is comprised of aggregated and anonymous data from media and entertainment sites captured by Adobe Analytics and Adobe Primetime


TV Everywhere

TV Everywhere—another form of online video analyzed by ADI for its report—is also seeing an increase in adoption. TV Everywhere is authenticated video that a customer has to sign into with an account, such as HBO Go. According to ADI, 2014 produced some impressive TV Everywhere numbers, with 2.1 billion authenticated videos viewed, up 266% YoY. On average, 13 million viewers tuned in to TV Everywhere services in 2014, up 116% from 6 million in 2013.


According to ADI, TV Everywhere is also an opportunity for marketers to get their message out to consumers in an uncluttered advertising environment. After all, TV Everywhere authenticated videos are up 467% since January 2013. And 13.9 million, or 12.5% of pay TV subscribers, actively viewed TV Everywhere content in Q4 2014, up 184% since Q1 2013.


Based on the findings, ADI predicts TV Everywhere active viewership will reach 17.5% by the end of 2015, and that’s without major sporting events. Campbell Foster, director of product marketing for Adobe Primetime, commented, “The growth in TV Everywhere will be driven by broader adoption of auto-authentication, social logins, and proactive marketing campaigns by multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs). In 2014, viewers authenticated in big numbers for the major sporting events. In 2015 and beyond, we anticipate that viewers will continue logging in to access more episodic TV programming and film content.” This presents a broad range of monetization opportunities for broadcasters, cable networks, and content providers.


Additionally, ADI predicts, the biggest MVPDs will follow Comcast’s lead and provide better TV Everywhere experiences with their own offerings. Broadcasters and cable networks will follow NBC’s lead and create new monetization opportunities by making more of their back catalogs available as video-on-demand (VOD) content via TV Everywhere, ADI forecasts.


ADI has also found that gaming consoles and over-the-top (OTT) device share of video viewing is up 50% YoY and 60% QoQ. On the other hand, iOS share down is 21% YoY and 19% QoQ. The iPad is the most popular device for streaming TV Everywhere content, with 29% share of authenticated videos in Q4 2014, while Roku is the most popular OTT device.


ADI predicts that Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, and gaming consoles will push gaming console and OTT devices share of TV Everywhere above 20% in 2015.


When looking at the data on a more granular level, ADI found sports content has more than three times as many unique visitors as does movie content, while broadcast and cable content has almost twice as many unique visitors. “Although sports content is a major driver of TV Everywhere viewing, we are seeing other genres help further the growth of the space” said Matthew Roberts, an analyst with ADI. In fact the data shows that new viewers are increasingly turning to TV Everywhere to stream movies, with unique visitor growth up 216%.


“In 2014, TV Everywhere was picked up by the early adopters, but in 2015 it could cross the chasm to the early majority stage,” Roberts said. “Movies, broadcast and cable content, and sports content are all helping broaden the base of this technology, and this trend is actually really picking up. This presents a great opportunity for advertisers to reach a group of like-minded individuals and take advantage of a not-yet-cluttered market that is seeing an acceleration in growth.” 



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