Study Shows Mobile Video Is Bigger Than You Thought

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The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has a new study out finding that long-form video is doing well on mobile screens. The study looks at data from 24 countries, and finds that 36% of smartphone users say they watch videos that are five minutes or longer on their phones on a daily basis if not more frequently. Many watch even longer videos, such as movies, on their mobile devices regularly.

In general, more and more smartphone users are watching more video of all lengths on their devices than they were a year ago. That includes 50% of those in the United States, 42% in Canada, 42% in New Zealand, 42% in South Africa, and 40% in the United Kingdom. According to the IAB, users are watching so much video on their mobile devices that it's starting to have a significant impact on television viewing. This is especially the case in China and Singapore, where 37% and 35% of respondents respectively said they're watching less TV due to streaming more on mobile. 22% across countries (excluding Japan) are regularly watching video on their phones even while watching TV.

“The popularity of digital video is evident across small screens the world over,” said Anna Bager, Senior Vice President Mobile and Video at the IAB, who is also General Manager of the IAB Digital Video and Mobile Marketing Centers of Excellence. “The fact that people are not only watching short snippets of programming, but committing to longer form content on their phones, opens doors for brands to be part of this impressive mobile engagement. However, the finding that viewers around the world are now video dual screening while watching TV, points to an emerging challenge for marketers: How do you grab a viewer’s attention when it’s divided between two simultaneous video feeds?”

The study found that 62% of users discover video on their phones via YouTube, while 33% discover it via social media platforms, 20% via search results, and 14% via advertising. Advertising has a higher incluence in the U.S. and Canada at 22% and 18% respectively.

Making an even bigger case for content providers to take advantage of Google's App Indexing, apps are the "indisputably" the main method for viewing mobile video in all markets, according to the study. Nearly half said they only or mostly leverage mobile apps to stream video on their phones. Only 18% said they only or mostly use websites to view video.

28% of users said they frequently see ads on mobile video that they've already seen on TV. Over 80% in most markets expressed interest in tailored ads versus non-tailoring of ads. The IAB points to this as evidence of the need for relevance of ads to the video being watched, particularly in the U.S. and Canada.

“Audiences around the world are overwhelmingly open to mobile video advertisements that relate to their context and viewing patterns,” said Joe Laszlo, Senior Director of the IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence. “Clearly, this is a real boon to global marketers that want to ensure they reach the audience segments most likely to be interested in their products or services.”

In China, 33% of users indicated they're willing to pay for video content streamed to their phones. The numbers are 25% for the U.K., 23% for Canada, 23% for the U.S., and 21% for Australia. Even still, 78% said they'd rather have free mobile video supported by ads.

Image via IAB

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.