Mobile Video Will Pass Desktop In 2016

Mobile’s share of total online video viewing is set to soar from 26% last year to 40% this year and just over 50% by the end of 2016, surpassing desktop viewing, according to a new report and forecast from Adobe Systems.  Turning to specific device categories, smartphones accounted for 14% of all online video viewing in 2014, while tablets accounted for 12%.

However, it’s worth noting that online video completion rates on smartphones remain relatively low, with just half of viewers watching even a quarter of the video, fewer than a quarter watching 75% of the video, and a little over 10% watching the whole video. In the same vein, average time spent per video view was still much higher on desktops than mobile devices, with the average desktop video view coming to 5 minutes 49 seconds in the fourth quarter of 2014, compared to 44 seconds for tablets and just 22 seconds for smartphones.

The huge difference once again is due largely to problems with the user experience. The Adobe report noted: “Often, links designed to automatically launch and start videos are accidentally clicked, which produces undesirable metrics like high bounce rates and low viewing time per video start. These links often irritate consumers who become more annoyed with the advertising that is embedded in these video launches.”

The Adobe report also took a closer look at “TV Everywhere” viewing behaviors, focusing on authenticated content, and found that after an initial shift from traditional TV viewing to mobile, in-home viewing is once again on the rise. Viewing via gaming console and over-the-top Internet TV increased from 20% of total viewing in the fourth quarter of 2013 to 24% in the fourth quarter of 2014. And browser viewing increased from 20% to 24% over the same period.

By contrast, authenticated video viewing over iOS systems (reflecting smartphone and tablet viewing) tumbled from 57% to 45%.

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