26% Of All Online Viewing Happens With Mobile Devices, But Few Finish What They Start

On the same day it made a significant measurement alliance with Nielsen, Adobe today released its U.S. Digital Video Benchmark Index for Q2, that shows awesome growth in online video viewership. 

Such as:

In Q2, there were 38.2 billion video starts, up an astonishing 43% from the same time last year. Altogether, online video consumption rose 388% in year-to-year comparisons. Monthly unique viewership has risen 146% in the last year and 85% in the last six months.

That’s pretty good, huh?

But wait, there’s more. The frequency of authenticated video “started on movie channel networks” increased 125%, viewership of broadcast and cable networks went up 80.6%, and the overall number of videos watched per visitor, per month, has gone up 54.8%, year to year.



The report is based on 165 billion online video starts from Q2 2013 to Q2 2014, which includes 1.53 billion online authentications. Adobe measured and monitored 253 sites and apps in the U.S and Canada.

Viewership of online video via over the top devices and gaming consoles has gone up 194% in the last year. And “browser-based” online viewing--mainly laptops, I’d guess--declined a significant 41% year-to-year.

Among other things, that makes me wonder  if Microsoft missed the boat when it basically pulled the plug on its Xbox Entertainment wing a while ago.

The Adobe report data continue to point out the great strides made by smartphones as a viewership device and a simultaneous cooling of the same by tablets. Together, the tablets and phones now account for 26% of all online viewing, but smartphones are growing much faster that tablets. Still, both are growing, which sometimes gets lost in the awe about the growth of smartphone viewing.

What this report notes, but without trendoid-like verbiage, is that videos are mostly completed on laptops, or more nearly so, at least.

In fact, this report says, only 16.6% of videos started on a mobile device reach 75% completion, which is logical enough.  Mobile users are moving around, watching little pieces of video, or just watching a little of a longer video.  

By contrast a video that reaches 25% completion on a laptop is three times more likely to reach 75%. But with browser-based online viewing in steep decline, there’s a cool collision of content and device still coming.

All of that, and much of this report, underlines why online video is quickly getting a very big seat at the content table, and why, if you peer long enough in the corners of this report, the Adobe Benchmark has anthropological weight. Things are changing, so fast, that it is nearly accurate to say every start up is already six months late.

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