Mobile Video Viewing Varies Widely by Age -- Brands Must Target

In the digital video business, it’s somewhat of a given that smart marketers need to develop mobile video ad strategies as consumers shift to mobile consumption. However, brands would be wise to remember that many of the viewers on the mobile video vanguard are younger demos.

That might sound obvious. Even so, it’s important for brands to understand the specific demographics of video consumption on mobile phones so they don’t make wholesale ad shifts that might not be demographically necessary.

Consider this: Pew Research Center found in a recent study on smartphone ownership that 75% of younger smartphone owners use their mobile phones to watch videos at least once a week. That compares to only 46% of those in the 30 to 49 age range and only 31% of those above 50. While overall numbers say that half of smartphone owners use their phones to watch video once a week, the specific breakdown is important for brands to keep in mind when tailoring their campaigns for mobile.



In general, the conventional wisdom is to bet on mobile video, given the extraordinary growth in the marketplace. The Diffusion Group predicts that mobile video viewing on smartphones and tablets will make up more than 20% of all video viewing in the United States within a decade. Likewise, Cisco has said that mobile data traffic grew by 69% last year, with video accounting for most of that traffic. Within five years, about 75% of the content on mobile networks will be video.

However, marketers who are developing cross-screen video campaigns should closely watch how the demographics and age breakdowns change year-over-year, so that they are properly targeting their ideal consumers.

Also of note: Pew found that 64% of American adults now own a smartphone, up from 35% in 2011.

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