Understanding mobile video usage

mobile video researchMobile video usage is starting to be looked at more closely. Mobile apps like Vine point towards a future of further growth in mobile video consumption. You only have to look around you when on public transport or on a flight for example; more and more people are using their mobiles to watch video content when on the go.

In November 2012 On Device published a report revealing the findings of their research into mobile video usage. In this article we are going to share with you the most interesting findings from study, which we hope will be useful to our readers who are video marketers.

Methodology of research

200 respondents who had a smartphone or a feature phone (the research excluded tablets) were involved with the research.

Stage one: prescreening of potential respondents in terms of demographics and mobile video behaviour (to ensure the sample was relevant to the study).

Stage two: the 200 respondents who were selected were tasked with ‘checking in’ on their mobiles whenever they used mobile video. This involved having what looked like an app on their phone and clicking on it every time they encountered or used mobile video. They were then prompted to give more information about the video they had encountered (e.g. what the video was, why they watched it, where they watched it, what else they were doing at the time).

Stage three: each of the respondents completed a survey, which included questions around reasons for video usage and attitudes towards video advertising.

Top 10 most interesting results

To save you the bother of reading the whole damn report yourself….

1) 92% of respondents share mobile video with others (sharing with social networks or actually on their own device were the main sharing methods)

2) 66% of respondents spend more than one hour per week watching mobile video

3) Mobile video users consume mobile video throughout the entire day, every day of the week

4) 63% of usage happens at home, often alongside a second screen (usually TV)

5) Engagement with advertising is more likely if the advert is relevant to the content of the video they are watching

6) In the future, users want to see better quality videos with better download speeds

7) Music, movie trailers and tutorials are the most frequently watched video formats on mobile.

8) 55% of videos are watched via mobile apps, and 41% via the mobile web (4% were ‘not sure’)

9) 33% of mobile phone users share video weekly, 16% share it daily.

10) Funny, short videos were most likely to be shared (66%) followed by music videos (52%)

Profile of a ‘heavy mobile phone video user’

profile of a heavy mobile phone userThe research generated a profile of a heavy mobile phone video user. In terms of demographics, they are between 25-44 years old. They have an unlimited data package and they watch an average of 13.25 mobile videos per fortnight. They mainly stream video but they also download.

How the respondents felt about mobile video advertising

Reactions to video advertising were almost split down the middle. 53% of users were ‘warm’ to advertising but 46% actively disliked advertising because of the interruption to their viewing. For those who didn’t mind advertising, short ad formats were preferred. Users were more likely to engage with adverts if they related to the video they were attached to.

Respondents were asked about what factors were important to them when deciding to watch particular video content. The most important factor for 35% of respondents was video buffering/streaming speed. For 24% of respondents, it was important to know that video was coming from a trusted source.

What the respondents want to see for the future of mobile video

26% of respondents were keen to see improvements in the creative technology of smartphones e.g. camera/video camera. 26% also liked the idea of a mobile video loyalty scheme, which would involve being rewarded by getting megabytes back for watching more video. Other less universal ideas included a more interactive experience of mobile video e.g. augmented reality (14%). Also, on a practical level, 19% of respondents said they would like to be able to adjust the video screen to play on different devices.

Limitations of the research

The findings of this study are useful to video marketers in terms of gaining an understanding of the level of significance of mobile video usage. The fact is, it is extremely significant and it is growing. It represents a development in consumer behaviour and it is now one of the most important marketing opportunities.

This study was US based. As stated in the methodology, participants were chosen on the basis that they do use mobiles to consume video. The sample is therefore somewhat restricted. However, it is a start, and results such as these can’t be ignored when research studies like these are currently few and far between.

MWP are a video strategy, production and marketing company with a focus on delivering measurable results.

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