You don’t need a study to tell you that smartphones and tablets are becoming super-important video platforms. Still, it’s startling to see how quickly consumers are turning to them for news and entertainment, even in a study from a firm that has a stake in the medium’s growth. Mobile devices accounted for 30% of the world’s online “video plays” in Q3, more than doubling their share of that market during the past year, according to a new report from Ooyala, a video services firm owned by Australian telecom power Telestra. The company predicts that mobile’s share will exceed 50% by this time next year. (Each video watched via the Internet constitutes a “video play”– so a 30-second clip is the same as a 2-hour movie.)
This summer’s increase was fueled, in part, by popular sports events including the FIFA World Cup, Wimbledon, Tour de France, British Open, the PGA Championship and U.S. Open. In addition, people checked their tablets and phones for news about the Malaysia Airlines passenger jet shot down over the Ukraine in March and the battles between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
But longform viewing — of video lasting 10 minutes or more — is a big part of the mobile surge, Ooyala says. It accounted for 80% of Internet-delivered views on connected TVs (up from 71% last year) and 68% on tablets (from 60%). There’s also been a pickup in longform viewing on PCs; extended videos accounted for 63% of the views, up from 40% last year.
Ooyala CEO Jay Fulcher says the over-arching theme of his firm’s latest “Global Video Index Report” is that “cloud-based TV has arrived.”