- Smartphones were the dominant way to watch online video during Q2 2018 at 62%, up 9.8% from the second quarter last year, according to an Ooyala study shared with Mobile Marketer. Mobile's share of "video starts" — the number of times that non-ad video content starts playing online — rose more than 13% in the quarter from a year earlier to 52%, the first time that number has topped 50%, Ooyala said in its latest Global Video Index Report.
- Premium content, especially sports entertainment, and new technologies that make video viewing quicker and more reliable are driving the growth for mobile video. North America has more than 220 over-the-top video services like Netflix or Amazon Prime that bypass traditional cable or broadcast distribution, while the rest of the world has many more, Ooyala said.
- The surge in mobile viewing during the second quarter followed sluggish 1.8% growth in Q1 2018. Ooyala predicts that 5G's impending rollout will boost mobile video views further, with its higher bandwidth and decreases in network latency.
While smartphones have smaller screens than TVs, laptops and desktop computers, their portability and capacity to store video downloads lets a growing number of viewers watch content virtually anywhere. This means advertisers need to ensure their video spots are created specifically for vertical viewing on handheld screens and tailored to on-the-go audiences. However, larger-screened tablets also have helped to boost mobile video growth this year. Video starts on tablets hit 10.1% in Q2, the fifth straight quarter of double-digit share, Ooyala found, pointing to tablets' steady — but still low — streaming adoption among consumers.
With the slow rollout of next-generation 5G networks, consumers will soon have access to high-speed broadband that rivals the download speeds of wireline networks. The average monthly traffic per 5G subscriber is set to grow from 11.7 gigabytes a month in 2019 to 84.4 gigabytes by 2028, according to a study commissioned by chipmaker Intel. Wireless media and entertainment will grow into a $3 trillion market over the next decade, with 5G networks making up about $1.3 trillion of that revenue. Video will make up 90% of all 5G traffic in 10 years, according to the forecast, signaling major opportunity for marketers to develop quality mobile content and better engage audiences.
As Ooyala points out, mobile devices are transforming how viewers watch sporting events, especially younger audiences. Men ages 18 to 49 tend to be the most enthusiastic sports fans and early adopters of mobile video streaming. Professional sports organizations like the National Football League are seeing a shift in viewership from TV to mobile devices. The average number of viewers of "Monday Night Football" slumped from 17.4 million in 2013 to 14.9 million last year, but the league is seeing a significant jump in mobile viewership. Digital viewership of NFL programming has grown 65% this year from 2017, while mobile viewing has surged 147%, according to data cited by Ooyala.