Mobile Video Attention Quadruples -- Time To Ride The Wave?

Us Brits are usually ahead of the curve in most things digital. That's not self-aggrandisement, but a reflection of most trends in Europe being seen here first. A point in hand -- digital video. Or to be even more particular, mobile video.

The latest figures in from eMarketer make interesting reading. Brits love television and video, and of the 3 hours and 54 minutes we spend watching tv and video content each day, 53 minutes is spent with digital video. For the sake of argument, let's call it just under an hour. By 2019, the site predicts, Brits will be spending 10% of their entire media lives watching digital video, which will account for a fifth of all our digital media attention.

That's interesting enough for the site to refer to digital video as the UK's "rising star." I'm in total agreement, but from a marketing perspective, I'm wondering if the most powerful point is that in the midst of this rising star, the real champion is shaping up to be mobile video.

Let me explain. The 53 minutes spent watching digital video is a doubling in attention over the past decade, the researchers point out. However, of this 53 minutes, just over half is spent on mobile (27 minutes) compared to desktop. This means that since 2012 digital video viewing on mobile has risen from an average of 6 minutes per day to 27 -- it has more than quadrupled. Digital video has doubled in a decade, while mobile digital video has quadrupled in half that time.

When you consider what's going on in that near hour of digital video the average Brit watches each day, it's pretty easy to assume that this is someone taking in the next episode of a Netflix show or catching up on a terrestrial programme via a digital catch-up service. It won't be all the time, of course, but it's likely that is what is driving up the average figure. The same theory applies a little less to desktop but, here's the point -- it applies far less to mobile. 

Mobile isn't a prime catch-up or streaming shows kind of tool. It can be and in some cases it is, but not at all to the same extent as a tv set or laptop. It's about the here and now -- the clip that caught your eye that was recommended by YouTube, the short report your favoured news brand has just released, the amazing feat that someone just uploaded to Twitter or some cats being cute on Facebook.

This is why marketers should be especially excited about this massive growth spurt for mobile video. In the world of Netflix, there is not an opportunity to get your message out there, because it is famous for not having ads and you can say exactly the same thing about the country's prime catch-up service, BBC iPlayer.

However, in the world of mobile video, that's exactly where marketers need to be sharing messages and running campaigns. This can be as the main video itself, native video, or as pre-rolls to the main attraction or as the bait in a video display campaign.

Whatever the tactic used to take advantage of this explosion of interest, it will keep brands in good stead as the public increasingly comes to expect that the internet is a moving medium, not the static words and pictures inherited from print.

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