Video Behaviors Shift as Multiscreen Usage Progresses

Video habits steadily moving to mobile

Time spent watching video on TV is still greater than on other devices. However, with the proliferation of mobile devices entering the market and multiscreen usage growing, video habits are shifting.

Millward Brown, which surveyed—via smartphone or tablet—more than 13,500 16- to 45-year-old multiscreen users across 42 countries, found that half of all video viewing happens on TV sets—split between live TV and on-demand TV. The other half comprises mainly mobile devices, which includes smartphones and tablets. Smartphones take the largest digital share, encompassing 22% of total daily time spent viewing video.

Breaking it down by age, daily time spent viewing video via a TV set is greatest among 33- to 45-year-olds. Smartphones, on the other hand, are the primary video viewing channel among 16- to-24-year-olds. Although this is their core video platform, this group also watches a lot of video on live TV, on demand TV and via their laptops.

The rise in mobile video viewing is part of a larger transition to multiscreen usage. In fact, mobile users worldwide spend 52% of their daily internet and viewing video time on mobile phones. To compare, the share of daily time spent with computers makes up 21%, while TV accounts for 27%.

Because a majority of video content out there is free, video advertising comes with the territory. And, unsurprisingly, mobile users are not very receptive to it. In the US, only 19% said they are open to digital video ads. Hence, there is work to be done to enhance the video experience. More than a third of mobile users worldwide said they would be less likely to skip digital video ads and pay more attention to them if they were funny or humorous. Other top reasons included watching an ad if it was in a category they were interested in, if it gave them something in return or if it was for a brand they were interested in.

User attitudes toward video advertising are a hurdle marketers need to overcome. A separate July 2015 study from Unruly found that 81.4% of US internet users muted digital video ads. Clearly users are not fond of them, but marketers must look at ways to have users pay attention, whether by making it appealing or through an incentive.