- Growth in mobile video has plateaued for the first time in 22 quarters, according to a study by Ooyala made available to Mobile Marketer. The California-based video software company's Q2 2017 Global Video Index shows that the share of video plays on smartphones fell to 53% from 55% in the prior three-month period.
- Long-form content — videos longer than 20 minutes — represented most of the time spent watching video on all screen sizes, including smartphones, connected TVs, tablets and computers, for the second straight quarter. Mobile devices are now being used 2.4x to 3.3x more than computers to watch long videos, per the study.
- This migration to mobile video over the past several years has reflected the increasing amount of premium content video services provide, Ooyala said, as well as shifts in consumer preferences. Neftlix, Amazon Prime and HBO Go are among the major video services that stream content tailored to mobile apps.
Ooyala's monitoring of video consumption reveals interesting patterns in viewership by device and region. Despite the plateau of mobile's share in Q2 2017, smartphone viewership continues to be a major driver of growth in over-the-top content — video that's transmitted through the internet without a subscription to a cable service or satellite TV.
Mobile video consumption in emerging markets like Asia Pacific and Latin America, where mobile plays totaled 72% and 56% respectively, per Ooyala, is likely rising as the price of smartphones drops and mobile bandwidth rises. Mobile video consumption in developed markets like North America and Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA), where mobile plays totaled 50% and 57.7% respectively, was also popular.
Cable and telecom companies are taking notice of the shift to lower-cost OTT streaming services. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson recently said the company plans to launch a cable TV-like service for OTT delivery sometime next year, Telecompetitor reported. AT&T's video offering will be in beta trials this year, laying the groundwork for a "software-based" delivery that will replace satellite delivery of video directly to consumers' home, Stephenson said at an investor conference.
Social platforms like Snapchat and Facebook are also putting more of a focus on building out original video offerings with an eye toward mobile consumption. Facebook executives, in a call discussing the company's Q2 earnings in July, underscored opportunities for marketers in producing more short-form or "snackable" mobile video content. The social giant also last month launched a Watch tab for TV-like content, with over 30 media partners creating shows for the feature.
Despite the massive growth in mobile video consumption over the past few years, marketers still face many challenges surrounding a lack of standardized metrics to help them understand consumers' viewing habits and preferences.