Although the share of mobile video plays increased to 56.7%, the 0.4% growth in the quarter represents the smallest gain in a long time for the format.
According to Ooyala, the stagnating growth does not represent the end of mobile video, but rather the format reaching saturation. There are other growth factors to consider though, including older consumers jumping on the mobile video trend, rising smartphone adoption worldwide, decreasing mobile bandwidth prices, newer and improved mobile devices and of course the growth of premium content for mobile.
Overall, the smartphone share of video plays dropped to 46.06% compared to 46.9% in Q1 2017. However, smartphone plays grew 8% from Q2 2016.
Online video viewing time is forecast to increase almost 20% in 2017 with mobile views from smartphones and tablets set to rise by 35% according to Zenith’s latest forecast.
The report also noted that long-form video (more than 20 minutes) was quickly becoming the preferred video format across all devices. Tablets saw the highest engagement with viewers watching an average 44 minutes of long-form video, followed by smartphone views at 38.5 minutes. Surprisingly, computers saw the smallest engagement at an average 25.3 minutes.
However, short-form content is still the dominant format on mobile.
Ooyala also took a closer look at regional trends. The EMEA region saw an increase of mobile’s share of video plays to 57.7% compared to 54.1% in Q1 2017. Smartphone and tablet plays were both up – 6.5% and 7.1% respectively. This was likely driven by cheaper mobile plans.
Meanwhile, mobile plays in APAC increased a whopping 17% driven by the region’s mobile-first focus. Smartphones continue to be the core driver of this growth (19%).
Mobile plays made up over 50% of all plays in North America during the second quarter 2017. However, the market is experiencing increasing saturation. Latin America’s share of mobile plays grew just 0.1% in Q2 likely due to continued economic issues in the region.
The report also included an examination of mobile video advertising trends. As pre-roll impressions have shortened, impressions on mobile increased to 29% from 20% on smartphones and 13% on tablets. Meanwhile, publishers have seen mid-roll formats increase with smartphones getting 45% and tablets 2.4% of impressions.
Completion rates on mobile are slightly higher for broadcasters than publishers for pre-roll and significantly higher for mobile broadcasts for mid-roll formats.
The report advises:
Mobile should become a focus of your video advertising strategy. But for the moment, desktop should also remain in your plans. Two-thirds of consumers in the US watch video on their smartphones every day, and 60% count smartphones as a “can’t live without” device. Slightly more consumers, about 70%, say they watch online video daily on their laptop or desktop computer. In emerging markets, where ad-supported services are more popular, those numbers are even higher for smartphone owners.