AOL Study Confirms A Mobile Movement For Video

With the majory of U.S. consumers saying they can’t live without their smartphone or always have it within arm’s reach, it's no wonder that 57% of consumers watch videos on their mobile phone daily, according to study findings from AOL Advertising released Tuesday

In fact, 89% of consumers reported living "within an arm’s reach of their smartphones at all times." While 70% of consumers reported watching video on desktop, mobile is only slightly behind at 67%. 

The findings, from a global study into consumer behavior, show how video viewing continues to explode on mobile devices and what advertisers and publishers need to know to make the most of their media buys in 2017.

Findings from the study span seven markets to better understand consumer trends around digital video and to get a finger on the pulse of what consumers want to see more of in 2017. And while mobile video continues to grow exponentially, the results show some very interesting findings.

For instance, when it comes to the length of the video, shorter is better, which might explain Google's reason for recently deciding to eliminate the 30-second unskippable ad. AOL's findings suggest that the "dwindling attention spans" of viewers make it more likely consumers will watch the content if it's short. Some 59% of consumers reported watching video that runs 1 minute or less every day, but only 31% of consumers reported watching video that was 20 minutes or more every day. 

Some 47% of advertisers expect to increase mobile ad spend by at least 25%, and 57% of publishers expect mobile ad spend to increase by at least 25% in 2017. Budgets continue to move from television to mobile. In fact, when AOL Advertising analyzed the shift of TV budgets digital video analysis suggests 63% is going to mobile video and 70% is going to desktop video.

There are challenges. Some 35% of advertisers point to the quality of customer experience as their top challenge. While 34% point to the quality of content or creative pieces as a challenge, 31% say the quality of programmatic inventory and 20% say ad blocking are also challenging. 

Virtual reality and 360 video are fueling the trend. Some 49% of consumers globally are experiencing 360-degree video on mobile. Some 31% of U.S. consumers and 21% of consumers in Southeast Asia report they expect to watch more video in VR in 2017. Canadian and UK consumers were not as enthusiastic, with just 9% of them expecting to watch more VR. 

2 comments about "AOL Study Confirms A Mobile Movement For Video".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, February 21, 2017 at 12:53 p.m.

    Laurie, yes, video usage on smartphones is rising at a fast pace---as it began from virtually zero, so large percentage gains are only to be expected. However, before we get overly excited about this "explosion" in usage, we should note that smartphone users devote far less time to the videos they access via this means than your typical TV viewer does when watching TV content. Also, there is the now familiar issue of respondents overclaiming in such studies.

    As a frame of reference, Nielsen's Third Quarter 2016 report, which is meter based, found that the average adult in the country spent 36 minutes per week "watching" videos on smartphones----up dramatically from only 16 minutes per adult in the comparable 2015 report. So maybe, "exploding" is the right term---or is it? By way of comparison, "linear TV" viewing---live and delayed----actually rose by one second in 2016, with the average adult devoting 32 hours and 3 seconds to the tube, compared to 32 hours and 2 seconds last year.

    Even if we take the 18-24s---yep, smartphone video usage surged from 39 minutes per person in 2015 to 1 hour and 11 minutes in 2016, but "linear TV" still dwarfed smartphone video "viewing" despite a loss in total volume, dropping to 14 hours and 21 minutes in 2016 from 15 hours and 30 minutes in 2015.

  2. John Grono from GAP Research, February 21, 2017 at 5:05 p.m.

    Precisely correct Ed.

    Put another way:
    * there are 10,080 minutes in a week
    * smartphone video's average is 36 minutes per week per adult
    * linear TV (live+catch-up) averages 32 hours per week (1,920 minutes) per adult.

    Advertising is all about the intersection between programme content and advertising content.   The content must be right (for the target), the contact must be made, and the context of the ad within that content must be harmonious.

    So based on the data above:
    * a TV ad has a 19% chance of a contact being made (hopefully in the right content and context)
    * a smartphone video has a 0.35% chance of a contact being made (again hopefully in the right content and context).

    So how do you boost the effectiveness of the smartphone video to get the required reach.   Some opt for higher weights.   Bad idea - that's the best way to annoy the consumer by bombarding them with the same ad.   The answer is ... there really isn't an answer until smartphone video reaches mass usage (and not just penetration).

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