87% of consumers 18-24 watch video on smartphones daily in US, Europe

watch video on smartphones daily
Gen Edge and Millennial viewers watch video on their smartphones daily

Eighty-seven percent of 18- to 24-year-olds in the US and Europe say they watch video on smartphones daily, according to a new study, with one-third of 55- to 64-year-olds (35% in the US, 31% in Europe) also acknowledging that they watch video on smartphones daily.

Across all age groups, US consumers watch video on smartphones daily to a larger extent than their European cousins.

Among viewers 25 to 34, 83% of US respondents to the Ampere Analysis survey said they watch daily on their smartphones, compared to 77% of Europeans. Among those aged 35 to 44, 77% of American and 66% of Europeans watch daily, with half of 45- to 54-year-olds (54% in the US and 47% in Europe) also using smartphones to watch video on a daily basis.

European viewers closing the gap on US smart device use for video

And, while US consumers continue to watch more video on smart devices than their European counterparts, the survey shows, but the gap is closing.

The percentage of European viewers who say they watch content on smart TV increased to 67% in Q1 2019, compared to 60% in Q3 2018, Ampere said. The US also saw strong growth, over the same period, increasing to 71% from 66%.

On Smartphones meanwhile, European growth again was larger over the time frame of the study. In Q1, 60% of Europeans said they watched video on smartphones compared to 52% in Q3. In the United States, nearly two-thirds – 66% – said they used their smartphones to watch video in Q1 compared to 61% in Q3.

Not surprisingly, Ampere found that Internet users are watching more video on all devices. In Q3 2015, the number of users in the US was slightly more than 40%, in Europe, about 30%. In Q1 2019, those percentages had jumped to two-thirds in the US and more than one-half (52%) in Europe.

US leads in viewing outside the home

Streaming providers in the US have pushed to reach consumers on any device, anywhere and at any time, catering to the market’s seemingly insatiable appetite for content on its own terms.

Again, it’s not surprising that US viewers – for the moment – are more likely than their European counterparts to consume content on the go. Nearly half of US respondents to the Ampere survey said they frequently watch content on their smartphones, tablets and laptops outside their homes, compared to 36% of European respondents. Fewer than 20% of US consumers polled said they “strongly disagreed,” compared to about 22% of Europeans.

The study was based on Ampere’s survey of 22,000 respondents in 10 markets during Q1 2019.

The bottom line

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Gen Edge and Millennial consumers globally show the same habits when it comes to consuming videos. Whether they are in the US, Europe, Asia or Latin America, smartphones are at the core of their viewing habits. That’s only going to increase as 5G begins to roll out.

And, as they age, not only will they continue to use smart devices – especially smartphones – as the cornerstones of their viewing, they’ll push those habits upward to older generations.

In the US, more content owners and streaming providers are making more premium content, including live sports and linear TV, available to viewers anywhere. The push has helped grow the segment. As more of that same premium content comes online in Europe – and elsewhere – any gap between the two markets will cease to exist.

Stay tuned.

Jim O’Neill is Principal Analyst at Brightcove. You can follow him on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn