I'm constantly trying to stay apprised of the latest news, perspective and data that might influence the online video world--even tangentially. With the potent, simultaneous convergence of rapid growth in the mobile, online video and online advertising realms, there's so much to ponder. In the last week, several reports regarding mobile behavior have been issued that have strong implications for our entire customer ecosystem and I wanted to share what I've learned in one easy-to-access place.
U.S. Consumers are Spending More on Data than Voice--for the First Time Ever
A new report from the Telecommunications Industry Association uncovered that consumer spending on mobile data eclipsed voice charges for the very first time in 2012. According to the report, consumers spent $94.8 billion on mobile device data in 2012, compared to $71.1 billion in 2011. This is in contrast to $86.4 billion in spending on voice services. These figures reiterate a trend we continue to see: consumers prefer their mobile devices, and they’re using them for data-intensive activities (i.e. mobile video streaming).
Smartphones will Outsell Feature Phones this Year
In related news, research firm IDC released data this week indicating that consumers will purchase more smartphones than feature phones in 2013. The report notes that this shift is primarily driven by lower cost devices and enhanced 4G network speed. I believe it’s also due to consumers' dual screen behavior and desire to tap the same information and entertainment experiences while on-the-go that they enjoy at home.
Online Video Ads Grew 50% Year-over-year in the Fourth Quarter 2012
comScore's State of Digital report for Q42012 found that mobile ads in general grew by 11 percent at the end of last year. But, video ads actually grew by 50 percent in that same timeframe. Mobile Marketer suggests that because less than 2 percent of online video viewing is spent watching ads--in contrast to a 25 percent ad-viewing rate on traditional television--that content producers have substantial opportunity to derive greater revenue from their online video. The 50 percent growth rate may indicate that publishers are quickly trying to ramp ad and ad partner network integrations so that they can take advantage of this currently missed revenue opportunity.
Mobile Video Apps and Streaming are Preferred
Last week at Mobile World Congress, Nielsen formally unveiled its February Mobile Consumer Report, published earlier in the month. The report contains some interesting perspective on mobile video viewing preferences globally. Specifically, the report found that--not surprisingly--consumers prefer to access mobile video via apps or streaming rather than downloading video clips. This makes sense given that premium media companies cannot deploy DRM or monetization solutions through downloads. Nielsen presented another interesting point surrounding mobile video viewing and its impact on traditional TV habits. According to Nielsen, smartphone owners overwhelmingly reported that access to mobile video had little effect on their TV viewing; however, in high-growth economies such as China and India, 33 percent and 28 percent of smartphone owners reported watching less traditional TV because of mobile video. It will be interesting to observe these data points and see how they evolve on a global basis over time.