On Sept. 13, 1899, Henry Hale Bliss stepped off a streetcar at 74th and Central Park West, walked right into the path of a taxicab and into the record books. He was the first person in the Americas to be killed by a car. Getting killed by a car was a new thing, and very big news.
The Ooyala Q3 Global Video Index is the opposite of that.
For several quarters in a row, Ooyala and other companies have been reporting growth—ridiculously large increases—in online video viewership or other up-worthy stats. Ooyala is doing that again this morning and it’s news only in that the numbers are growing at such a absurdly fast clip worldwide. Now the thing to do is find the biggest crazy number and note it.
For example, in its Q1 report, Ooyala predicted that half of all video views would be coming from mobile devices by 2016. Check that! Now, Ooyala predicts that will happen by this time next year, a full year ahead of its original best guess.
Right now, 30% do, which is a mere 112% increase over last year.
From one year to the next, smartphone and tablet views have more than doubled, a 114% increase. Back in 2012, views from those devices made up only 6% of all video views. Since then, growth has exceeded 400%. But the thing is, everything is up; it’s just that mobile viewing is up the most.
The Ooyala report notes that now, "the Internet driven evolution of TV and video is now embraced, rather than spurned, by the TV establishment. HBO, CBS and others are touting new IP-delivered offerings,” and quotes AMC Networks CEO Josh Sapan, who told Variety there’s ”an almost unstoppable trend for technology to facilitate consumer discretion and choice.”
Which, as it turns out, is turning toward longer and longer video. Ooyala says on connected TVs, viewers spent 80% of their time watching videos longer than 10 minutes, and tablet users spent more of their time watching videos ranging from 30 to 60 minutes than users of any other kind of device.
The Ooyala report is a concise compendium of other companies’ research, too.
For example, looking at how much the Internet is now used for video, it notes: “Forward-looking broadcasters and media companies are taking note, with new IP-based offerings and monetization strategies aimed at capitalizing on an increasingly mobile audience. We’ve heard the statistics: Cisco says 79% of all IP traffic will be video in 2018, up from 66% in 2013. By 2016, meanwhile, two thirds of all mobile traffic will be video, and Internet video to TV will see a 4X increase by 2018. Two years ago, those numbers would have been stunning. Today, they’re merely roadmaps to a video future the industry — both traditional and new media players — believe is just over the horizon.”
That ho-hum horizon.
The numbers in the Ooyala report, says Jim O’Neill, the company’s principal analyst, is a “bottom-line continuation of what we’ve seen the last few quarters. This is really more a ‘solidification’ of those figures. Things are going fast, and still accelerating … We used to talk about evolution. Now, it’s all a big bang.”
O’Neill, who is no millennial, is pretty sure that’s the age group, worldwide, that’s driving the group. “It’s the first truly global audience,” he told me, moving as fast as the devices that deliver news, sports and information. The Ooyala report notes how not only the World Cup, but the Ukraine plane crash and the battle between Israelis and Hamas in Gaza also increased video viewing on mobile devices. I guess chanting, “The whole world born between 1980 and 2000 is watching, in real time” is a little cumbersome, but that’s the story.
He is particularly fascinated by recent reports that smartphones priced at under $60 will be widely available by next year. “Think about that mobile impact for emerging markets around the world,” he says. All of which makes a listener pretty convinced that the crazy percentage increases once used to explain online video growth — what O’Neill once called “The Law of Small Numbers” — has some pretty dramatic worldwide growth still to come. “Now those numbers,” he says, “are pretty large.”