Time Spent Viewing Long-Form Video Has Strong Uptick In Q1

The majority (63%) of time spent on digital video content across all screens is on long-form video (over 20 minutes in length), according to Ooyala’s Q1 2017 Global Video Index.

While shorter videos are more likely to be watched in their entirety, the growing prevalence of premium content available online on multiple devices is quickly driving eyeballs to long-form content.

Ooyala, a company that develops software to serve and monetize video content, found that 98% of time spent watching connected TV is spent on long-form video -- a significant increase from 83% a year ago.

Further, long-form video content on tablets now accounts for 81% of time spent watching video, a dramatic increase from 51% the year before. Long-form viewing on computers increased almost 100% -- to 65%, up from 35%.

Likewise on smartphones, long-form video content viewing was up to 55% from 26% in Q1 2016.

“Numerous reports are seeing similar trends,” Jim O’Neill, principal analyst and strategic media consultant at Ooyala, told Digital News Daily via email. “Premium video is becoming the currency of choice for SVOD [subscription video on demand] providers looking to leverage their content with an audience that’s increasingly going online.”

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Smartphones and tablets continue to be major drivers for growth in OTT (over-the-top) video consumption, accounting for around 57% of all video plays in the first quarter of 2017, globally.

One of the biggest issues with serving video to mobile devices is discoverability, O’Neill told DND. “Unlike bigger screens, searching for content on mobile devices often can be frustrating. So companies focusing on long-form to build their business also need to be focusing on how to engage viewers for longer periods of time, to keep them on a site and actively engaged in watching video.”

When it comes to mobile, on a regional basis, APAC (Asia-Pacific) tops world regions, with 61% of video plays coming from mobile devices. In LATAM (Latin America), 56% of video views were on mobile; EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) had 54% of total video views from mobile devices; and finally, North America saw about 50% of video views from mobile devices.

“This quarter’s report is interesting in that it shows the continued strength of SVOD services, the continued adoption of multiple screens and, of course, the proof -- again -- that mobile is crucial to a provider’s success,” concluded O’Neill. “Mobile and long-form have both moved mainstream, and they’re unlikely to lose that traction.”

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