Q4 Global Video Index: Mobile online video taking center stage for consumers

It wasn’t very long ago that “mobile video” meant carrying your portable TV out to the porch and plugging in an extension cord. There just wasn’t anything else.

Today, for an increasing share of consumers, mobile video means the ability to watch what ever online video they want, when ever they want on an increasing array of mobile phones and tables on iOS, Android and Windows operating systems.

The popularity of mobile online video is clearly increasing, at a pace even more rapid than many executives, analysts and industry pundits have acknowledged.

The Q4 Global Video Index (a free download is available here) – which looks at the anonymized viewing data from nearly 200 million unique viewers watching online video in 130 countries every month – shows an increasing number of consumers engaging with live sports, live linear TV and a massive library of short and long form video, from free to premium, on hundreds of different mobile devices.

According to the Q4 Global Video Index the share of time spent watching videos on tablets and mobile devices increased 719% from Q4 2011 through the close of 2013. In 2012 alone it was up 160%.

It’s plain that consumers are taking control of their entertainment experience and that online video delivered to smartphones and tablets increasingly is at the core of that experience.

A recent forecast from researcher Infonetics showed that 89% of pay-TV service providers would support tablets as part of their multiscreen services by 2015, up from 47% today.

Meanwhile, ABI Research forecast mobile video viewing would increase more than 65% by 2019, with consumers watching online video 21 hours a month, up from 12.7 hours today.

Our data shows consumers are adopting mobile online video even faster than those industry forecasts, driven, in part, by live events like the Winter Olympics in Sochi and March Madness, which both showed huge gains in mobile share. With help from the upcoming World Cup in Brazil this summer, 2014 is poised to be a record setting year.

In fact, we believe the time viewers spend watching video on mobile devices will double by the end of 2015 to 37%
of all online video viewing, and reach 50% by 2016.

Technology, obviously, is playing a critical role, assuring smooth delivery and the TV-like experience consumers demand – even on the small screen — and big data is making it easier for them to discover content they want to see, without having to waste time searching for it.

Stay tuned.

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