Bigger Screens Attract Longer Videos

According to the recently released Ooyala Q1 2017 Global Video Index, for the first time long-form content represents the majority of time spent watching video on every screen. This quarter’s report tracks variances in video consumption between the East and West coasts of the United States, the continued growth of mobile, as well as emerging trends in online video advertising.

 While short-form video has the greatest chance of being watched in its entirety says the report, long-form content (greater than 20 minutes in length) now represents the majority of time spent watching video across all screen sizes, at 6%.

Much of that is due to the increasing amount of premium content that services are now making available to all devices, says the report. As longer content becomes more prevalent, short-form is losing its dominance, particularly as larger mobile screens are now more common. By device, the study finds long-form content now represents:

  • 98% of all time spent watching video on connected TVs, up from 83% the previous year
  • 81% on tablets, also up notably from 51% the year before
  • 65% on computers, nearly doubling from a year before (35%)
  • 55% on smartphones, a 26% increase from Q1 2016.

Mobile viewing continues to be a major driver of OTT growth, reaching a new high of nearly 57% of all video plays in Q1 2017, says the report, with smartphones accounting for 47% of total plays and tablets the other 10%. Although mobile plays were dominant in every region, the study found an 11% variance in consumption between North American viewers and more active viewers in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region; while Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) and Latin America (LATAM) saw more than 10% year-over-year growth in mobile consumption.

 Regionally, the study finds:

  • In EMEA, mobile plays represent 54% of all video plays, up from just 42% a year ago
  • In North America, mobile represents slightly more than half of all video plays, up from 48% a year ago
  • In APAC, 61% of all video plays are on mobile, up from 46% a year ago
  • In LATAM, mobile plays topped 56%, up from 46% a year earlier, with tablets representing 5%, the least of any region.

Jim O’Neill, Ooyala Principal Analyst and Strategic Media Consultant, says  “… adoption of mobile devices isn’t slowing down, and consumers are as comfortable watching long-form content on smartphones and tablets as they are short clips… Video providers should be prepared to make all of their content available for mobile consumption, and business strategies must embrace all screen sizes…”

The quarter continued to show that smartphones and tablets remain consumers’ go-to-devices for watching video. Q1 2017 set new records for mobile video starts, as 56.5% of all video plays were on mobile devices, up from 54.3% last quarter and from 47.7% a year ago.

Smartphones finished the quarter with 46.9% of all plays, nearly equaling the total for all mobile devices last year. It was the highest total for smartphones since the Video Index began, up nearly 20% year-over-year, says the report. Tablets, too, set a record globally, finishing the quarter with nearly 9.6% of all plays. In March, tablet plays hit 10.1% of all plays, the first time that device garnered a 10% share worldwide.

More than three-quarters of Americans own smartphones, with men and women about equal. According to the Pew Research Center, 92% of Americans aged 18–29 own a smartphone, along with 88% of 30–49 year olds and 74% or 50–64 year olds. 93% of adults who make more than $75,000 annually also are smartphone owners.

Globally, nearly 3 billion people use smartphones, a number expected to double by 2020; 87% of smartphone owners say their phone is always at their side, according to Google, and they check their phones an average of 150 times a day. Mobile devices are expected to account for 75% of all Internet use this year, says ad firm Zenith.

Clearly, consumers’ adoption of mobile devices isn’t slowing down, says the report. And they are as comfortable watching long content as they are watching short clips. That means all content has to be able to available for mobile consumption, that your business strategy embraces all screen sizes, and that your sign-up, discovery, user experience and, if it’s part of your business, e-commerce needs to be as smooth as it is on bigger screens.

For additional information from Ooyala, please visit here.




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