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Preparing for more mobile video on all devices

more mobile video across devicesYou’re probably tired of hearing about how mobile is taking over everything. It’s simply a fact now that businesses and advertisers know. But the rate of growth of mobile video is likely greater than you might think. Here are some interesting statistics and expert opinions on why you need to create video for, and migrate to, mobile now.

Insights from Yahoo!

To find out what people really were thinking about mobile video, Yahoo! performed a study asking some basic questions. These included how much video people watched, on what devices, compared to a year ago, and what people thought about video length and what they disliked about mobile video most. The details of what they discovered are covered in their Migration to Mobile Video report. I’ve made notes on the most relevant bits and summarised them here.

Smartphone viewing is up

In general, more video is being watched on all devices when compared to a year ago. Respondents said they watch 34% more video on PC/Laptops. But smartphone watching increased 55%, and tablet watching was up 48%. People appear to be choosing their smartphone for more video watching than ever before. Yahoo! also included a different way of looking at the same statistic: the increase in smartphone viewers was 60% higher than PC/laptop.

Screen size matters, sort of

That is an interesting fact given the next statistic: 67% say screen size is the number one reason they dislike watching videos on smartphones. Manufacturers have been increasing screen size over the last couple of years, but this study was done in the middle of 2015 after all the major brands had a large screen option. Still, watching a video on my iPhone 6 Plus still doesn’t compare to watching it on my iPad. But my phone is certainly easier to carry around with me!

There isn’t any deeper data shared in the Yahoo! report to explain why there is this slight counter-intuitive result. But since similar results are seen in many studies, it must be a valid trend. Though I can’t say for sure, I would guess the fact is most people simply use their mobile more than their tablet for most things. So watching video on smartphones is just easier than switching devices.

Length matters too

Respondents were asked their opinion about the “important features” of video advertising. The result across all devices was they want short video ads. Smartphone users especially agree with 61% saying the ads should be 30 seconds or less. Tablet and PC viewers responded too saying that short video ads is the most important aspect of a “quality video advertising experience” at 44% and 45% respectively. If I had to hazard a guess as to why tablet and PC users aren’t quite as concerned about length as smartphone users, I would say it’s because smartphone users are task oriented. A video advertisement is likely interrupting something they want to get done, so they have less patience. PC and tablet activities are more general (PC for sure) so ads may not feel so disruptive. For example, many mobile games insert ads on a regular basis. Some give the option of watching video ads to gain more in-game currency. Do I want to watch a video when I’m playing a game? No I don’t, and you probably don’t either. But if I have to watch in order to keep playing, please keep it short!

The Yahoo! study offers more data to back up the much talked about trend of mobile video. Do you have a plan in place to migrate to mobile video? Or do you use streaming technology to serve the same video up to multiple platforms automatically?

Oliver Burt

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