Nielsen: Mobile Video Audience Still Small, Only 10% Of All US Mobile Subscribers

While video in terms of mobile advertising is growing rapidly, mobile video consumption in general is still relatively small considering the advancements in smartphones, mobile apps and the mobile Web.

According to new data out from Nielsen, the number of mobile video viewers has grown 43% to nearly 22 million as of Q2 2010, up from 15.2 million in the year- earlier period.  That amounts to just 10% of the estimated 220.5 million U.S. mobile users 13 and older accessing video through any means including the Web, subscription-based services, downloads and apps.

Nielsen reports the average time spent per month viewing mobile video increased 11% to three hours and 37 minutes, up from 3:15 a year ago, which averages out to just 6.5 minutes a day.  These stats justify why many mobile video ventures have failed over the past year, with the most notable being Qualcomm’s ill fated FLO TV experiment.  As we close 2010, it’s apparent that mobile TV remains more an early-adopter niche than anything remotely resembling a mainstream medium.

Still, devices like the iPhone and iPad will only help mobile video proliferate in the coming year.  In fact, recently released data showing that nearly 78 percent of its customers encode their mobile video to play on Apple iOS devices, whereas only 4 percent encode specifically for Android devices.  The remaining 18 percent encode for the 3GP format, which is used by feature phones.