Remember that adage about consumers opting for the best screen available to watch video? This theory supposes that viewers will first choose a big-screen TV, then a PC, then a tablet, then a mobile phone to watch video, if all are options.
The theory may still hold true, but there is increasing evidence that size doesn’t matter.
For starters, the use of mid-roll ads is growing and they now comprise 25% of all video ads online. This ad format is used most commonly in longer form video. Mid-rolls are rising by 115% year-over-year, compared to 45% growth for pre-roll ads, said online video technology provider FreeWheel in its just-released report on first quarter video advertising trends. That rise signifies that “long-form content is coming online overall and that publishers are making more mid-roll inventory available,” FreeWheel said.
Then, consider this nugget from mobile video analytics firm Avvasi. The company’s CEO & Founder Mate Prgin tells me that his firm’s analytics indicate that the average time people spend watching mobile video is rising to 15 to 30 minutes per session, up from three to five minutes one year ago. Meanwhile, Nielsen has said that more than 33 million mobile users watch video on their phones, a rise of 35.7% since last year.
To be fair, consumers might really be using the best screen available — watching TV shows online if someone else is using the TV set. Or watching a show on their mobile phones while traveling.
However, we need to keep an eye on these trends because I believe that consumers are also becoming accustomed to ANY screen, not just the best screen. Because video is easy to find, load, stream and watch on most devices, we might not always opt for the best screen if given the choice. We might just opt for the closest one, or the quickest one, and sometimes that’s going to be the mobile phone or the PC.