58% of all videos are now being viewed on mobile devices

Three out of five videos are now being watched on mobile devices, according to the latest Ooyala Q1 2018 Global Video Index Report. However, overall video plays stabilised at an increase of just 1.8% compared to the previous year (Q1 2017).

Nevertheless, the latest report shows the increasing importance of mobile video with 58% of all videos now being viewed on mobile. Indeed, consumer demand for long-form video content on mobile devices continues to thrive. Videos of 20-40 minutes in length were viewed to completion 57% of the time, whilst those longer than 40 minutes were finished 45% of the time.

When compared to other devices, mobile still has some catching up to do but is edging significantly closer to tablets (61%) and PCs (71%) for 20-40 minute videos.

“Consumers are becoming far more comfortable watching any content on every screen than they’ve ever been,” said Jim O’Neill, Ooyala principal analyst.  “The traditional barriers to multiscreen viewing — the amount of available premium content, the cost of service and the quality of experience — all have fallen. The first screen for viewing truly has become the screen that’s most available to the viewer at the moment.”

Regionally, Latin America saw strong gains (59.9%) in mobile’s share of video plays whilst Asia Pacific grew just slightly (8.4% to 60.7%). Meanwhile, plays in EMEA reached 58% during Q1 2018 and were up 9% in North America compared to the previous year. Ooyala believes that premium content will help secure an uptick in mobile video in all areas.

Over-the-top video services are now producing more content than ever before. Long-form content (20 minutes +) jumped 189%, whilst medium content increased 171% and short form content grew 178%.

“Mobile video content is coming from an expanding universe of creators and distributors across sports, news, entertainment and enterprise,” said O’Neill. “They understand that mobile needs to be a pillar of any content provider’s streaming video strategy. Ignore mobile or allow lower-quality standards for your video stream, and you’re likely to lose a significant portion of your business.”

In video advertising, broadcasters saw a slight decline in pre-roll ad impressions, whilst publishers noted an increase from 69% to 72% on PCs. Smartphone impressions remained flat at 23% down from 31% in 2017.

Meanwhile, mid-roll impressions increased to 59% for publishers. However, pre-roll video formats continue to be a difficult sell for consumers with completion rates on smartphones just slightly up from 72% to 74%. Mid-roll completion rates on smartphones jumped to 80% from 75% compared to last quarter.