Everyone watches online video the same way, right? Nope.
Our Q4 2016 Global Video Index found that a publisher’s ad-supported content that’s distributed globally has a different – sometimes radically different – viewer profile depending on the region in which it’s watched.
This quarter, in addition to our regular data pulls for the Video Index, we compiled data from several major publishers that all have significant viewership in North America, Latin America, EMEA and Asia-Pacific of their AVOD content, including general news, health news, sports news and entertainment.
We expected to see North America – the most developed OTT market – take the lead in mobile plays, especially as smartphones and tablets appear ubiquitous in the United States and Canada.
Surprisingly, North America had the lowest percentage of plays on mobile devices, just 50%.
The leader? EMEA with a whopping 60% of plays on mobile devices, followed by APAC at 58% and LatAm at 56%. EMEA also had the highest percentage of plays on tablets, better than 12%.
Overall, mobile plays for that content reached 56%, with 45% occurring on smartphones and 11% on tablets.
That developing markets like APAC and LatAm see a higher number of mobile plays isn’t really all that surprising. Mobile devices often are the first – and sometimes only – screen young Millennials in those regions have at hand.
EMEA’s high number of plays on mobile devices can be traced to the popularity – and high penetration – of tablets in the region. Nearly two-thirds of households in the U.K., Netherlands and Norway have tablets, and penetration in Denmark, Ireland and Sweden stands at 62%, just slightly above the region-wide penetration of 57%… the highest in the world.
Of course, AVOD is just part of the story.
The past quarter also saw continued growth in mobile of all types of content, taking mobile plays to 54% of all plays… the most ever in a single quarter. Mobile plays topped 56% in November and 58% in December, pointing to even more growth in Q1 2017.
Despite the increase of plays on mobile devices during the quarter, long-form content was most often consumed on the largest screens available, a constant since the Video Index debuted in 2011.
But, despite studies that suggest screen size on smartphones are too small to allow regular consumption of long-form and mid-form content consider this: In Q4, long-form content made up more than 47% of time watched on smartphones, with mid-form content adding another 13%. Snackable, short-form content shorter than five minutes? Just 40% of time watched on mobile devices.
Those numbers are in line with ComScore reports that say consumers regularly stream Netflix content to their mobile devices, including half of Millennials, more than a third of Gen X subscribers and 30% of Baby Boomers.
For more insights drawn from data we collected, download the Q4 2016 Global Video Index here.