Opinion: Larger Devices Having a Real Impact on Consumers’ Mobile Video Viewing Habits

Opinion Larger Devices Having a Real Impact on Consumers’ Mobile Video Viewing HabitsThe following is a guest contributed post from Hendrik van der Meer, president and co-founder of Vilynx.

Video on mobile is big and that’s no surprise. One of the most recent statistics to support this is a study from Adobe stating that mobile is quickly becoming the viewing platform of choice with smartphone share up 75% year-over-year (YoY) in 2014. While many marketers have put their focus on optimizing for the vast variety of smartphones on the market, there’s another mobile device segment that shouldn’t be forgotten just yet. The phablet – the device that everyone rolls their eyes when seeing another person holding it to their ear – is a small, but growing trend among consumers.

Plus-size phones have plus-size potential

Usage of mobile devices like the iPhone 6 Plus and the Samsung Galaxy Note has grown by 148% between January 2014 and January 2015 – far faster than any other type of mobile device. The desire for big screens in emerging markets is even more impressive with more than 60% of the consumers buying smartphones in China, India, and South Africa preferring a phablet. More screen space directly correlates to more activities for many consumers as they are able to comfortably use their device for more advanced activities beyond texting and quick browsing. It’s not hard to draw a connection as to why this growth is so important for advertisers when you consider the fact that mobile will account for 72% of US digital ad spend by 2019.

According to ADI data, larger devices are having a real impact on consumers’ mobile video viewing habits too, aiding in video completion rates and increasing overall time spent watching online video content. Authenticated video on-demand or ‘TV Everywhere’, has also bloomed into a common trend among video watchers. According to the same report, the average number of viewers who tuned in to various authenticated streaming services increased from six million viewers in 2013 to 13 million, representing a 116 percent increase in 2014. More consumers are watching more videos and more of any given video? That’s an advertiser’s dream. Consumers who watch more videos can be exposed to multiple ads instead of a select few.

Take Advantage

Mobile isn’t a ‘wait and see’ game. Getting in on the mobile video action with consumers, you’ll need to provide what they want.

  • Grab the consumer on the first try – Consumers are more likely to watch a video to completion on a bigger screen, but that starts with getting them to watch it in the first place. Draw consumers in by showing them you have the content they desire. Video preview technologies are an excellent option – showing the consumer what’s in the video before they hit play.
  • Optimize your content – This is more than the right resolution for the screen. You’ll also need the right kind of content for the user’s chosen device. People who aren’t at home aren’t using their tablet or desktop – they’ll need smaller, easily digestible videos for their smaller devices. For a consumer on the go, a section of a TED Talk will be more applicable to their situation than the entire talk.
  • Optimize the monetization – Be smarter about the ads that you run, whether they’re sponsored content for a better mobile experience or pre-roll ads. There needs to be newer and better way for publishers to monetize their video content for mobile. Current methods simply haven’t been effective – it’s time for a monetization model specifically designed for the mobile experience. As for what that model is, only time and consumer feedback, will tell. For now, we know a consumers won’t stand for something as ridiculous as a 30-second advertisement on a 1-minute video.

Keeping up with the consumers is the only way to make sure you get your return on investment. Look for the trends you can capitalize on and don’t forget – just because some might think it’s ridiculous, there’s an entire segment of users out there who love their phablets.