It’s strange, but it seems that the majority of mobile phone video viewing is done at home. Counter-intuitive? Absolutely. I don’t ever use my mobile to watch video at home because I have the other three screens on which to watch it. However, that appears to not be the case for everyone else according to new research from the IAB, The Mobile Phone Video Diaries.
As always, let’s start with the methodology. Admittedly, they only polled 200 people in the US for the research and if there are around 100 million smartphone users in the US, that means there’s a pretty large 6.9% margin of error. You can read more about their methodology here.
Users who opted in were required to take part in a 3-stage diary project lasting 2 weeks. One problem with this is that it depends completely on the user remembering to take all the necessary actions. When they encounter a video they have to click an app icon and fill out a form. So on top of the small sample size there’s an unknown amount of user error, lack of recording and other variables. So I wouldn’t say this is an industry-wide survey and shouldn’t really be extrapolated as such.
Top Mobile Video Content
The top video content that these 200 mobile phone users saw was, for the most part, professionally produced.
-45% said they saw a music video
-42% saw a movie trailer
-41% watched a tutorial or how-to.
From there the numbers start to dip, 37% saw what was classified as a Funny short video clip/”viral video” (a fairly wide category to say the least), 25% saw user-generated content from a friend or family member, 23% watch full TV episodes, 21% watched news. Clearly some of the 200 participants were watching multiple types of video.
Watching video on their mobile was the third most popular activity (66%) for 1 hour or more each week trailing behind playing games (73%) and Social media (68%). It edged out email (60%), search, shopping and mobile financials (banking or bill paying).
The content length was quite telling as it was overwhelmingly short-form, under 10 minutes. In fact 85% of the videos they watched fell into that category.
On top of that, the majority of videos were watched via the web (55%) as opposed to an app (41%) with a small percentage of people being unsure.
For our purposes this is some interesting data in terms of advertising and marketing. First off, short-form still remains the king of the hill for mobile video viewing and browser compatibility is still a major thing to consider when pushing that video to the mobile phone space.
Share the Wealth, of Video Content
Want people to share your video from their mobile phones? No problem according to this study that said 92% shared video. Most share to Facebook (56%), some play hot potato and show someone else on the same device (44%), 37% use text messaging, 33% email, 30% share via YouTube and just 12% Tweet.
In fact, 16% of the 200 respondents shared video content daily with another 33% doing it weekly. In terms of what gets shared, it’s mostly the nebulous Funny short video clip/”viral video” category (66%) with music videos just behind (52%) and then movie trailers, UGC, etc.
That’s a Wrap
So while that ‘viral’ category gets shared most, it’s far from the most common form of video being consumed on phones from this report. There’s nothing all that shocking in the report except, perhaps, the amount of sharing going on. We knew that most mobile video viewing was short-form and professionally made. With the integration of Facebook into just about everything these days it’s also not surprising that it is the most common way to share videos. Perhaps what is surprising is that YouTube is so low on that list getting topped by email and text. Of course, it is just 200 people out of 100 million, and there might have been some confusion as to how they were sharing the videos in the first place.
By Christopher Rick