Adobe: mobile becoming the video viewing platform of choice

DetailsJoseph O'Halloran | 27 March 2015

The video world is changing rapidly, and there is a tidal wave of mobile content making this happen says the US Digital Video 2014 Inaugural Report from Adobe.

The creative software firm says that the extent of the growth of the portable platform has been revealed clearly in data that found that with content becoming more mobile-device friendly, mobile connection speeds continuing to improve, and a host of new mobile devices coming onto the market, the possibility of the mobile device replacing the desktop as the primary viewing platform is becoming more realistic.

It found that devices such as the iPhone, which has boosted smartphone video completion rates with mobile device video viewing on smartphones, is continuing to gain popularity, with 75% year-on-year share growth. Mobile devices are becoming much more relevant in general online video consumption, with close to one-third of video starts occurring on a mobile device. The overall share of mobile video viewing has rissen from 6% in Q1 2012 to 27% in Q4 2014.

adobeindexAdobe advises developers to be prepared to offer an array of options that cater to multiple platforms and an increasing buffet of screen sizes. It adds that creation strategies need to focus on a mobile centric viewer and that beginning the creative process with these viewers in mind will increase view rates and engagement levels.

Overall mobile is projected to overtake desktop viewing by the end of 2016 with tablet share growth of online video viewing failing to keep up with smartphone share growth. Yet Adobe notes that tablet viewing is still up 50% year-on-year to 12% of online video starts and that time spent viewing on a tablet is twice as long than on a smartphone; desktop viewing is 14 times longer than a smartphone.

In Q4 2014 the average time spent viewing a video on media and entertainment sites via smartphones was 22 seconds up 24% quarter-on-quarter. By contrast, in the same period Q4 2014 the average time spent viewing media and entertainment video content on desktop computers was five minutes 49 seconds 16 times longer than on a smartphone.

In another key finding, Adobe says that 2014 was the year that TV everywhere was picked up by the early adopters and that in 2015 it could "cross the chasm" to the early majority stage. The survey found that new viewers were continuing to turn to TV everywhere to watch films with Apple TV and other OTT devices taking a bite out of iOS share of video starts.

Summing up what it had found in the US Digital Video 2014 Inaugural Report, Adobe says: "Fuelled by the mobile revolution, the idea of streaming content wherever and whenever has given rise to a shift in consumer behaviour that is beginning to come full circle and is forcing producers to make around the clock programming available on non-mobile devices like the desktop and the living room TV. The TV industry has responded to this mobile trend and developed a way to feed consumers the content they want through TV everywhere ... there is a lot of opportunity with this technology and it is up to its providers to align TV everywhere services in a way that will keep viewers engaged after they have made the effort to sign up for and consume the service."