Video watching on mobile devices saw steady growth in Q1 2018 as media companies continue to pump out more content: Ooyala

Consumers have become far more comfortable than ever watching any content on every screen, said Ooyala’s principal analyst Jim O’Neill.

Worldwide mobile video consumption continued to rise in the first quarter (Q1) of 2018, albeit at a more stabilised rate, with nearly three of every five videos available out there already been watched on the platform.

According to the Q1 2018 Global Video Index Report issued by Ooyala, a subsidiary of Australian telecommunications and IT services company Telstra, total video plays have increased by 1.8% from the year before, marking the first quarter-on-quarter decline in the mobile platform’s share of plays at almost 4.6%.

The growth was also noted as one of the smallest in 14 quarters.

Meanwhile, consumption of long-form video – those with total duration that exceed 20 minutes – on mobile devices continued to see stellar performance.

The study found that 20-to-40 minute long videos were viewed to completion 57% of the time while ultra-long form videos which are over 40 minutes long were viewed to completion more than 45% of the time.

Both types of videos were observed as faring better on other devices. For instance, viewers watched long-form content to completion 61% on tablets and 71% on PCs while ultra-long form content achieved 51% on tablets and 59% on PCs.

Jim O’Neill, Ooyala’s principal analyst, said: “Consumers are becoming far more comfortable watching any content on every screen than they’ve ever been.”

“The traditional barriers to multiscreen viewing – the amount of available premium content, the cost of service and the quality of experience – all have fallen. The first screen for viewing truly has become the screen that’s most available to the viewer at the moment,” he added.

In the Asia-Pacific region, quarter-on-quarter gains in mobile’s share of video plays have grown modestly, hitting 60.7% in Q1 2018, up from 52.3% a year ago. It was the region’s fourth straight quarter with video plays on mobile devices exceeding 60%.

Over-the-top (OTT) services have become increasingly popular in Asia as well given the abundance of smaller media merchants aiming to secure a major share in the region or dominate a country’s market.

And they seem comfortable to be on the sidelines of the battle between corporate giants like Netflix and Amazon that are wrestling for control across much of the world, said Ooyala.

Despite OTT services having multiplied their content offerings by more than two-fold in Q4 2017, even more was produced in Q1 2018 as media companies created almost three times the amount of video content processed the year before.

Within that span of time, long-form content had surged by 189% while medium- and long-form content grew substantially by 171% and 178% respectively.

“Mobile video content is coming from an expanding universe of creators and distributors across sports, news, entertainment and enterprise,” said O’Neill.

“They understand that mobile needs to be a pillar of any content provider’s streaming video strategy. Ignore mobile, or allow lower-quality standards for your video stream, and you’re likely to lose a significant portion of your business.”

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