The video viewing habit is migrating quickly from desktop to devices, but some of the familiar discovery mechanisms may not be porting over in quite the same way. For instance, according to a new survey by Harris Interactive of over 2000 users on behalf of social video community Telly, only 41% of mobile video watchers say they are discovering new streaming media from the traditional search engines. Many more users -- 64% -- are finding their video from video apps themselves. But the largest number of users -- 67% -- are getting wind of new video from social recommendations.
The survey extrapolated from the sample to find that 78 million mobile device owners in the U.S. -- or 35% of mobile audiences -- are watching video on their devices. Of the 52 million mobile video watchers who use social recommendations of some kind, most (35 million) are getting the recommendations from their social network connections. In fact, the social networks are responsible for 68% of social recommendations of video, underscoring just how powerful platforms such as Facebook and Twitter can be in this area.
Nevertheless, email among friends and family is also being used by 54% of those getting video through social recommendations, while 41% are using SMS.
Men are 10% more likely to watch mobile video than women. But age is an especially important driver here -- users 18 to 44 are three times more likely to watch mobile video. And as has been true from the beginning of streaming media onto phones, family-friendly content is especially compelling. Call it the nanny effect, but parents sharing screens with children may be one of the reasons why households with children are 48% more likely to watch mobile video than households without children.
And when it comes to video, the typical disproportionate dominance of iOS devices does not apply here. Forty-six percent of mobile video viewers are using Android devices, compared to 36% on iOS devices.