Acquisition & Engagement

Digital Video: the Most Important Trend in Mobile Today?

John Koetsier

197 minutes. 657 days. 195.7 million. 33 minutes. $5.4 billion. $6.8 billion.

From the beaches of Cannes Lions, to the beer halls of Cologne during GDC and DMEXCO, to the board rooms of leading media agencies, to the pubs of Dublin during the Web Summit and countless places in between, I am often asked “What is the most important mobile trend I need to pay attention to right now?” Above is a selection of numbers which highlight why, for a while now, my answer has been “Video.”

Media consumption evolution

Any which way you look at it, the way we consume media has changed drastically over the last few years, first with the internet and then accelerated by smartphones and tablets. In fact, so much so that Mary Meeker included a slide on the Daily Distribution of Screen Minutes in her highly anticipated Internet Trends 2014 report. The slide is based on the findings from the MillwardBrown AdReaction 2014, which states that globally we have the following split:

daily screen time
When you add the minutes people are spending daily on tablets and smartphones together you get 197. In other words, 3 hours and 17 minutes are being spent consuming media every day across mobile devices.

Video first

By 2018, Cisco is predicting that the pipes of our global IP networks are going to be filled with video. They estimate that the amount of video being transferred will be nearly 5 million years of video per month or 657 days of video every second: an astounding number, but perhaps too large to be meaningful.

Another way of looking at this is by the size of the audience. For December 2014, comScore reported that in the US, there were 195.7M unique video viewers who watched content videos on their desktop computers during the month. This is already an incredibly significant audience engaged with video but that is just desktop. You need to consider that this is made larger when you factor in mobile.

eMarketer reports that of the 55 minutes average time spent per day with digital video by US adults, 33 minutes or 60% of that is spent viewing video on mobile.

Digital video average time spent per day

In reality, you only need to look at your own behavior to realize the way that you consume video has changed dramatically. Today, I have already watched a number of videos on desktop including a CNBC clip on how time is spent online ☺ and a Thank You BPM Festival 2015 video; while on my mobile I have watched many more due mainly to my commute, including getting my overview of the Vanity Fair Oscar party on Snapchat. And in reality, my prime time viewing will be later tonight while I am media stacking while happily watching Revenge with my wife.

Show me the money

US digital video ad spendEven though it might not have happened as quickly as those working in the industry have expected, we only have to look at the ongoing shift and growth with the amount of digital advertising to feel comfortable saying that the money does follow the eyeballs. This is true of digital video on both desktop and mobile, where eMarketer reports that by 2018 the market will be $12.27B ($5.4 of that on mobile).

As you are reading this on the TUNE blog, I don’t really need to tell you that one of the key drivers of mobile ad growth has been to solve the problem of app discovery with mobile app-install ads. Business Intelligence is expecting this format of mobile advertising to be creating $6.8B of revenue in 2019.

It’s easy to see when you put the extreme growth of digital video on mobile together with the importance of mobile app install ads why publishers like Facebook and Google, through YouTube and pure play mobile ad tech companies like Vungle or AdColony, have come up with solutions for video mobile app installs.

In fact, TUNE CEO, Peter Hamilton, stated in the TUNE Top 25 Advertising Partners – Fall Edition that with three advertising partners that prioritize video ads included in the top 25 and others coming up quickly, we need to “keep an eye on video ads.”

 About those numbers?

  • 197 minutes of media consumed daily on mobile globally, per person.
  • 657 days of video will pass through the Global IP network every second by 2018.
  • 195.7 million adults watched digital content videos on desktop in the US during December 2014.
  • 33 minutes is the average time spent per day with digital video by US adults in 2014.
  • $5.4B is expected to be spent on digital video ads on mobile in 2018.
  • $6.8B is the estimated US revenue for Mobile App Install advertising in 2019.

As previously mentioned, these are just a few of the numbers about digital video and mobile that give me confidence to say that the trend anyone interested in mobile right now has to pay attention to is video.

John Koetsier

Before acting as a mobile economist for TUNE, John built the VB Insight research team at VentureBeat and managed teams creating software for partners like Intel and Disney. In addition, he led technical teams, built social sites and mobile apps, and consulted on mobile, social, and IoT. In 2014, he was named to Folio's top 100 of the media industry's "most innovative entrepreneurs and market shaker-uppers." John lives in British Columbia, Canada with his family, where he coaches baseball and hockey, though not at the same time.

3 responses to “Digital Video: the Most Important Trend in Mobile Today?”

  1. guest says:

    Please fix the inconsistency — 657 days of video — per second or per minute?

  2. Danielle says:

    Great post! There really is so much opportunity in video, especially for marketers. I read a crazy statistic just the other day – YouTube gets over 1 BILLION mobile views a day. Blows my mind.

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