Majority of video-watchers flocking to mobile platforms shows not all devices are made equal: Report

Mobile platforms have outperformed other devices such as connected PCs and TVs when it comes to video content viewing.

Mobile video is taking the lead when it comes to the number of video plays globally, ahead of other viewing platforms such as TVs and PCs, says a recent study.

According to software services provider Ooyala’s newly released Global Video Index Report, mobile video plays have topped 60% globally for the first time in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2017.

It’s revealed that across all measured devices, which include smartphones, tablets, connected TVs and PCs, viewing time for medium- and long-form content has increased to over 50% of all content.

A shift in preference of device and type of viewing content was observed as well.

Most notably, one of the biggest viewing shifts occurred on PC platforms where time spent watching long-form content plummeted to 37% in Q4 – its lowest point since Q1 2016 (35%).

While long-form video-viewing on PCs plunged, time spent on short-form videos saw an increase instead as it grew to 50%, the most of any device.

Short-form content has remained stagnant year-over-year for smartphones (44%), tablets (26%) and connected TVs (0.7%).

In terms of mobile plays, smartphone views were recorded to be more than three times that of tablets.

Despite the comparatively low number of views, tablets hold a 12.8% share of all video plays, marking a 68% increase from Q4 2016.

Taking into consideration the movement of premium sports assets online, mobile plays are forecasted to soon reach – and potentially exceed – a 70% market share.

“The primary screen is definitely shifting. All devices are not equal for video viewing,” said Jim O’Neill, Ooyala principal analyst in a statement.

“Consumers are as comfortable watching a sporting event, TV show or movie on a smartphone as they are on a connected TV, but not on their PC or tablet.”

The influx of digital content has also led to the diminishing popularity of the TV platform.

On average, over-the-top (OTT) services have doubled their hours of content offerings in the past 12 months, with stark increases for long-form (159%), medium-form (87%) and short-form (112%) content.

“Content is experiencing a flood unlike anything the industry has previously seen… and there is no end in sight. It’s the lifeblood of an over-the-top provider and the key to keeping users engaged and coming back for more, especially if you maintain regular contact with your customers, letting them know in advance that new content is on the way,” added O’Neill.

Nonetheless, he cautioned content providers and distributors to maintain ongoing technological improvement with focus on quality of experience.