- Huawei reached a deal with Discover.film that puts the streaming platform for short films on 100 million smartphones worldwide. Discover.film last month saw a 220% gain in viewership as the coronavirus pandemic boosted demand for short films, per an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer.
- Huawei will pre-load the Discover.film app in its Huawei Video service that also includes streamed videos from the BBC and Rakuten TV. Discover.film has a library of more than 10,000 films that typically run 10 to 15 minutes long.
- Discover.film was founded in October and currently has subscribers from 190 countries. The service is available on the entertainment platforms of transportation companies including American Airlines, Air Canada, British Airways, Emirates and Eurostar, per its announcement.
Huawei's distribution deal with Discover.film comes as people boost their consumption of video on mobile devices, a trend that's likely to accelerate as higher-speed 5G networks expand worldwide. Discover.film's specialty in streaming short films is well suited for mobile consumers, especially younger audiences who tend to watch videos throughout the day. About four of five (81%) Gen Zers said they watch mobile videos for entertainment while doing other things, per a study by entertainment company Whistle. Its survey also found that more than half (61%) of Gen Zers think watching mobile video is comparable to watching TV, compared with only 37% of millennials who saw no difference in quality between the platforms. Those consumption habits create opportunities for content provides like Discover.film.
The increased appetite for mobile video is seen with the popularity of TikTok, the viral video app that has been downloaded an estimated 1.9 billion times, and next week's launch of Quibi. The short-form video startup founded by Hollywood producer Jeffrey Katzenberg plans to stream 175 original shows whose 8,500 episodes are a maximum of 10 minutes long and are designed for mobile viewing. The company has generated interest from advertisers including AB InBev, Discovery, General Mills, Google, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Progressive, Taco Bell, T-Mobile and Walmart.
Discover.film isn't the only company to see increased usage as the coronavirus pandemic forces people to rely on their smartphones for news and entertainment while they're stuck at home. Smartphone data usage surged 34% in March from a year earlier, according to media measurement company Comscore. The higher usage also is reflected in a lift in ad impressions on social platforms. Impressions on Instagram rose 22% in Q1 from the prior quarter, and 27% on viral video app TikTok in March from the previous month, per data from influencer marketing firm Obviously cited by Campaign.