Half of All Video Views Could Be Via Mobile/Tablet By 2016, Sports Is Big Driver

The world pretty much just spends its time kicking, throwing, catching or just watching balls, and the latest confirmation of that comes from Ooyala’s Q4 2013 Global Video Index, which highlights some interesting stats.

Such as these:

Mobile viewers watch three times more live sports than they do video-on-demand. They spent nearly two-thirds of their viewing time watching sports content longer than 10 minutes.

As if on cue, Turner Sports on Monday said the streamed NCAA March Madness Live, as good as any indicator of general sports madness,  is seeing record level video consumption.  Mobile and tablet recorded 71% growth in NCAA streams in the first two weeks, Turner reported.

Turner claims more than 64 million live video streams across all platforms through the second week of the 2014 NCAA Division I  Men’s Basketball tourney and already exceeds last year’s total of 49 million video streams for the entire tournament. NCAA March Madness Live has netted 13.5 million hours of live video consumed, an increase of 7% over last year. 

Ooyala says that worldwide since 2011, mobile and tablet viewing altogether is up 719%. Mobile and tablet video share of market grew 43% in the fourth quarter alone.  

So how mobile users are divvying up their time is a good indicator of where the video world’s content and advertising is heading, or should be. At the pace it’s at now, mobile and tablet viewership will make up half of all video viewing by 2016. That stunning growth is obviously changing what’s being streamed, too, and as it has been for every new video outlet, sports (and pornography, no doubt) are the market leaders.

To emphasize how fast the mobile sector has grown, Ooyala’s report says: “Widely doubted as a viable TV platform by critics less than a decade ago, mobile today is the fastest-growing segment of online video. It has been for the last two years, and will be for the next two.”

I suppose the authors meant that rave to emphasize how big mobile has become. But it also serves to remind everybody that in a digital age, it’s pretty hard to predict success more than two years out.  In 2016, as big as mobile/tablet is, some other tech train may be rushing down the track.

Still, the growth has been astounding. Worldwide, it’s 18% of all video viewing. A year ago, it was 7%, this report says.

Ooyala measures viewing habits of nearly 200 million unique viewers in 130 countries. Publishers it works for include sports giants ESPN and Caracol TV  and the Pac-12 conference. It claims this report is a “statistically representative view of the overall state of online video.”

Ooyala says 99% of its publishers and broadcasters it surveyed say reaching mobile and tablet users is somewhere between “important” and “critical.”  The reason for that might be that 83% of them say they see a huge opportunity in monetizing that space.

Separately, today, Ooyala announced a new partnership with Microsoft to develop and quickly deploy next-gen  IP video services, combining Microsoft’s Azure Media Services with Ooyala’s  software service distribution and analytics tools.  With the alliance, Ooyala is now the preferred online video provider for Microsoft, and Microsoft is Ooyala's preferred public cloud provider.

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