Longer-form content – video over five minutes in length – made up nearly half (48%) of all viewing on smartphones in the third quarter of 2016, more than double the 23% that seen a year ago, according to Ooyala’s Q3 2016 Global Video Index.
Jim O’Neill, principal analyst at Ooyala, said nearly one-third of all mobile viewing (30%) was of video over 20 minutes in length.
O’Neill finds that the acceleration of that viewing trend is worth noting, and this is expected to gain even more over the next several quarters. “We are, after all, an increasingly mobile society in established markets like the United States and Western Europe; growth there will continue as consumers continue to demand it.”
The company sees Amazon’s decision to offer downloadable content for offline viewing – and Netflix’s more recent decision to do the same – as speaking volumes about the customer feedback they’ve seen.
But it’s in regions considered emerging markets – like LatAm and parts of APAC – where smartphones and tablets will have an even greater impact. Both regions are expected to see even greater mobile penetration than in more mature markets.
“I was in Malaysia last week, where, in a country of 31.5 million people, there are 44.5 million mobile subscriptions, nearly 145% penetration,” said O’Neill. “That’s more than eight times the number of broadband-connected households. About 68% of Malaysian mobile users are on smartphones, and 64% of those users are younger than 30.”
He said those metrics are going to drive consumption of longer form video even more rapidly.
In Ooyala’s Q3 2016 Global Video Index, we also took a deeper dive into sports viewing in Europe. Mobile, again, was center ring, with growth as the main attraction.
“A year ago, when we last drilled down into sports viewing Europe, we found that Ireland was the only country in which sports video views topped 50% on mobile devices,” said O’Neill. “Today, that 50% mark has become table stakes for many of the countries in the region.
Mobile video views of sports-related content topped 54% for the region as a whole, more than the 52% found in the United States, and ahead of the worldwide average of 49%.
“In the quarter, we also worked with our partner Irdeto to take a look at how the rise of 4K/UHD content could impact piracy,” said O’Neill.
He quoted Irdeto as saying that as more providers – both traditional and streaming – increased their output of the high-definition content (which almost all of the major players are expected to do), they’d increasingly become targets of piracy. The high-value nature of the format, and the ease with which quality copies can be made, will put 4K front and center, requiring more aggressive content protection.