Consumers aren’t just watching video on many different devices -- they often start a video on one device and finish it on another. In a report detailing multi-screen behavior, Google studied how consumers shifted from tablets to smartphones to PCs for various activities (check out my colleague Steve Smith's full analysis of the report).
Let's look specifically at how consumers watch video across screens. About 43% of survey respondents started video on one device and finished it on another. This finding is a powerful reminder for brands and content programmers that their videos need to play well and look good across devices. Consumers are not distinguishing between screens, so brands and providers should optimize their videos for every screen.
Consumers are most likely to start watching videos on their smartphones, and then continue on a computer, with only a small portion continuing the activity on a tablet. Computers are the next-most-popular place to begin videos, with about one-third of respondents starting videos on PCs, but tablets lag with only 11% starting video on a tablet. When consumers do make the switch between devices to watch video, about 43% will conduct their search for the video again, another 43% will go directly to the site with the video, and 30% will email themselves the link.
These findings underscore that video search, metadata, and proper tagging are vital in this multiscreen world. With all of this agnostic jumping around between different devices, the tags in your video need to be impeccable so that viewers can locate and then finish watching if they put one screen down and pick up another.
Given these findings, online video vendors seem to be heading in the right direction with the plethora of multiscreen advancements they have rolled out lately, such as ad networks Tremor Video and YuMe adding more multiscreen capabilities, and specialty vendors like Eyeview implementing its technology across screens.
Then there are companies such as mDialog, a video ad insertion firm, which is rolling out tools to deliver one-to-one targeted ads on digital devices for both linear and live streaming. The company's new “smart stream platform” allows programmers and service providers to target individual users on devices such as the iPhone, iPad, Android, AppleTV, GoogleTV, Roku, and Xbox, the company said in introducing the product at the IBC show in Amsterdam.
Likewise, online video ad technology vendor Kaltura also launched new features this week to enhance cross-device video delivery, the company said. The goal is to deliver video and have it play smoothly across a range of devices from set-top boxes to computers to gaming consoles to phones.