How Many Videos Have You Watched Today?

Do you ever read streaming stats and whisper to yourself, “Is that me?” Well, another new data piece has me doing that again.

According to Parks Associates, about 70% of Americans watch a short video on their smartphone every day. I guess I believe that, but only because I'm so not that person I'm agreeing about a lifestyle I can't fathom. 

When you think about what 70% means, that’s seven out of 10. This might seem reasonable if you work for a media company and scan the office. You could easily buy that percentage.  But if you work in a law firm? Or a paint store? Or Trump for President HQ?  I just find that hard to handle.

Here are more of the Parks drilldowns: Every day, 20% of mobile video watchers spend a half hour or more watching so-called snackable video; that is music videos or YouTube short videos. As you surely know, that can add up in a hurry, like bad calories.



And 40%, on a daily basis, watch a long form video, which would be an episode of a TV show, or a movie, via their smartphone.

This percentage, I have to say, seems impossible, but I suspect, again, that’s my perception problem. Surely, millions of people do a significant portion of their total viewing on mobile devices. Pew Research Center last month revealed that nearly a quarter of Americans aren’t just cable cord-nevers.

They don’t even subscribe to a broadband service, which means that handheld screen is not just the handiest video device they have. It’s the only one. Basically, they aren’t choosing to watch video on smartphones. There is no choice involved.

Audiences really are divided by devices, which is not exactly news. There are mind-boggling fractures that make TV Everywhere campaigns seem so inadequate and make skinny bundles seem so missing-the-point. As mobile devices increasingly become the way people access the Internet, and especially, how they access video, the changes in content and advertising will come so fast few will be ready to adapt. 

It’s become fashionable to say that TV and online providers have come to the point that there is too much content around to be sustained by advertisers.  If that’s true, it’ is only because advertisers don’t know where the audience is, or where it’s going, or how long it intends on staying.

Maybe it would be easier to understand if you become one of the 40% who watch a full-length TV-type program on your smartphone. Every day. Not me.

3 comments about "How Many Videos Have You Watched Today? ".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, January 18, 2016 at 5:39 p.m.

    Does anyone really believe these "findings"?

  2. Michael Elling from IVP Capital, LLC, January 19, 2016 at 4:56 p.m.

    First of all, it's not 70% of Americans, rather 70% of ~70% or about half (+/- 5%).

    Second, remember paperback books?

    Remember when you carried them around and dog-eared the pages?

    When you had a moment you whipped it out and read a couple of paragraphs or pages if you could.

    Now, take an easy to stop and start interface like Netflix and let's say you want to consume an entire season of something in 3-8 days. 

    Where on earth does anyone find the time?

    Of course, the same way; 2-10 minutes at a time.  Over the course of a day it's easy to find 60-120 minutes and not even eat into your LinearTV addiction from 8-11pm.

    Binge On!


  3. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, January 19, 2016 at 5:12 p.m.

    Experience tells me that respondents in this type of study invariably overstate their usage of the medium in question, sometimes to startling degrees. Electronic measurements using panels of smartphone owners by you know who, don't even come close to the findings of this study in terms of reach and, especially, frequency.

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