Mobile video consumption increases worldwide – advertisers to benefit from trend

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Mobile video is here to stay as young user consumption plays a key role in driving the format’s growth. According to the latest Video Index from Ooyala, video content resulted in more video starts (56%), with smartphones accounting for 45% of all plays, ahead of desktops at 44% and tablets at 11%.

Global consumption

Regionally, smartphones outperform other devices for video views across APAC, EMEA and LATAM, but not in North America, where desktops still perform higher. Tablets are predominantly used in the EMEA.

The APAC region has seen mobile networks perform particularly well for quite some time now and overall mobile device video content consumption increased to 58%. This year, smartphone users in the region are expected to reach 1.48 billion. With 88%, South Korea has the highest smartphone penetration worldwide, followed by Australia at 77% and Malaysia at 65%.

Almost 60% of all video plays were on mobile devices in the EMEA region, with smartphones topping 47%. The higher number of tablet users adds to the overall viewership. The UK (66%), Netherlands (66%) and Norway (65%) are among the countries with the highest tablet penetration. Overall, around 179 million consumers own tablets in Western Europe. Ooyala says that though tablet usage is likely to stall somewhat over the coming years, it will reach over 5% until 2019.

Mobile consumption in LATAM has been some of the fastest growing globally. Video plays on smartphones were almost even with APAC. With mobile devices generally more easily accessible in the region, users are picking up smartphones across remote areas and are opting for smaller screens that are easier to maintain.

Perhaps the most surprising finding is North America’s video consumption, with its share of smartphone plays (39%) below that of all other regions. Around 229.3 million consumers own smartphones in the region with 75% of mobile phones now being smartphones in North America. However, desktops still take centre stage for video views here.

These findings mean that advertisers are advised to target mobile devices with their video campaigns. Indeed, shorter content in particular is seeing an uplift in viewership and ad support is a viable means for publishers to continue to support the production of such content. Ooyala finds that content owners are more likely to be monetising across several domains so knowing your audience and considering various screens to reach them is likely to pay off in the long term.

Mobile video

Video starts globally reached 54% in Q4 2016, compared to 46% in 2015 and a mere 17% in 2013. During December, views jumped to 58% likely bumped by the Holiday season. But it’s also a good indication of the growth that could be expected for 2017. Ooyala predicts that January 2017 may have seen 60% in mobile video consumption. That’s partially due to consumption of previous Januarys consistently outperforming previous months and years.

Millennials are seen as the largest consumer group of mobile video with a reach of 60% on smartphones. However, older generations have begun to purchase smartphones and are increasing video consumption numbers steadily. Almost three-quarters of Baby Boomers in the US are now watching video on their smartphones. In addition, wireless carries such as AT&T and Verizon have launched unlimited data plans to boost mobile video.

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Engagement

TVs are still seeing the majority of long-form content consumption. Tablets have caught up somewhat with 65% of content views being long-form and another 10% medium-length video. However, figures on smartphones are rather surprising. In Q4 2016, longer content made up 47% of video time on smartphones, mid-length content came in at another 13%. Shorter content of five minutes or less came in at 40%. These findings are backed by comScore which reports that consumers regularly use their mobile devices to stream Netflix.

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Given these results, it’s hardly a surprise that brands are likely to boost their mobile ad spending in 2018 to grow at a CAGR of 32%.

Mobile advertising

The Video Index also examined mobile video advertising figures. It found that worldwide, consumers are spending roughly 20 minutes a day viewing online content on mobile devices, up 40% from 2015. This growth is likely fueling significant ad expenditure in mobile video. US spend is expected to grow at a CAGR of 26.5% until 2020. According to eMarketer figures, advertisers spent $17.5 billion on video ads in 2015, with spending to be significantly boosted by programmatic over the coming years.

Ooyala noted that the platform had also seen more buyers using third-party vendors to track and manage their impressions. In addition, VAST seems to be on the rise as it makes for a direct connection between publisher and buyer. Increasingly, brands are moving away from longer ads and have adopted the 5-second format.

Impressions for pre-roll ads on mobile devices increased 44% in Q3 to 47% in Q4. However, pre-roll ads dropped from 44% to 39% on PCs during the final quarter of 2016.

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Mid-roll ad impressions increased 25% between Q3 and Q4 in 2016 on smartphones, whilst tablet mid-roll decreased by around 10%. Connected TV mid-roll impressions increased a whopping 33% between quarters and represent 12% of all impressions on CTVs.

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For broadcasters, pre-roll ad completion rates remained high across all devices with smartphones scoring at 85% and tablets at 88%. Publisher pre-roll ad completion rates were more stagnant between quarters at 69% on smartphones and 70% for smartphones. Similarly, mid-roll ad completion rates increased for broadcasters, whilst they declined or remained the same for publishers.

The latest Video Index confirms that programmatic is going to significantly boost mobile video advertising over the coming years, with US programmatic spending to increase to 143% until 2018. However, marketers are reminded to always consider the consumer. Ensuring a smooth experience is a vital part of any good mobile advertising strategy. As an example, mid-roll adverts tend to be accepted a little better than pre-roll ads.